Federal Application for Lake Powell Pipeline Submitted by Gov. Herbert's Administration
Governor Herbert’s administration and the Washington County Water District have submitted their federal licensing proposal for the Lake Powell Pipeline. This marks the first official effort by the State of Utah to make the disastrous Lake Powell pipedream a reality. The multi-billion dollar pipeline would pump 86,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water 2000 feet uphill across 140 miles of desert. The water delivered would go to just 180,000 people in St. George, Utah, but is the equivalent annual water usage of 700,000 average Americans. This is because St George uses 295 gallons of water per-capita, some of the highest in the nation at twice the national average.
Located immediately upstream of the Grand Canyon, the diversion would reduce flows available for fish and wildlife species over hundreds of miles of the Colorado River and make restoration efforts at the Colorado Delta much more difficult. It would also impact the millions of residents throughout the Southwest who are much more conscientious with their water use.
The $2 billion boondoggle has already squandered $27 million of Utahns’ sales taxes on the paperwork for the Colorado River diversion, and the agency hasn’t even figured out if state taxpayers will be repaid for the billions of dollars they are being asked to spend on the project.
Like many Utahns the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board smells something rotten. They recently concluded that until we see exactly what that repayment plan is, the Lake Powell Pipeline should not be allowed to take one more step toward reality. Read the full editorial here.