ST. GEORGE — An informational open house on the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline is set for Wednesday and the public is invited to attend and speak with state and local water officials.
If built, the controversial pipeline would carry 86,000 acre-feet of water 140 miles from Lake Powell to Washington and Kane counties and, according to a recent study, cost an estimated $1.4 to $1.8 billion.
A preliminary licensing proposal for the Lake Powell Pipeline submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December is the public’s last chance to weigh in on whether the pipeline should be built or whether other alternatives should be explored to meet water needs in Southern Utah in the future.
A recent study signed by 20 different economists from three major Utah universities predicts the proposed pipeline could incur debt as high as $781 per year for every resident of Washington County, and repayment would require extreme increases in water rates, impact fees, or both.
Gov. Herbert’s proposed 2017 budget, released Dec. 9, 2015, recommends several conditions be met before the state would be willing to consider allowing the project to go forward. The conditions include better tracking of current water use, stronger conservation measures, increased transparency and local voter engagement.
The Governor’s budget may signal a shift in the willingness of state officials to fund the Lake Powell Pipeline and other large water projects, a function which in the past was filled by the federal government.
The open house will be held at the Water District offices, 533 Waterworks Drive in St. George, from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday.
Project participants and consultants will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the project’s needs, conceptual design and timeline.
These officials are scheduled to be in attendance and available for questions:
- Eric Millis, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources
- Josh Palmer, Utah Division of Water Resources public information officer
- Brian Liming of MWH Americas, Inc., the state’s project consultant
- Ron Thompson, Washington County Water Conservancy District general manager
- Mike Noel and/or Dirk Clayson of the Kane County Water Conservancy District
Comment on the Lake Powell Pipeline licensing proposal
- Search Lake Powell Pipeline documents using docket number P-12966 here
- Go to the comment section here and fill out the form, including your email; you will be emailed a link to submit your comment
- Open the link in the FERC email and use the Lake Powell Pipeline docket number to comment: P-12966
- Write and submit questions, comments and feedback
Comments from organizations, comments over 6,000 characters and comments including photos or graphics can be submitted following these instructions:
- Create an account at FERC Online
- Follow the instructions for FERC’s eFiling System
- Washington County Water Conservancy District pipeline website
- 2015 Lake Powell Pipeline Economic Feasibility Analysis
- Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act of 2006
- Utah Rivers Council Lake Powell Pipeline website
- Citizens for Dixie’s Future Lake Powell Pipeline website
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