Letter to the Editor: Dixie Power CEO offers perspective on Lake Powell Pipeline

Stock image of Lake Powell, St. George News

OPINION — As one of southern Utah’s largest electric utility providers, Dixie Power is planning for the growth that is occurring in our region. We’re seeing an approximately 6 percent increase in energy sales annually. This increase requires we expand and invest in our infrastructure to make sure that our customers have power.

Planning service for customers is an essential part of any community utility provider. I listen with interest to the debate on the Lake Powell Pipeline and wonder how many of us would be here today if we listened to those who said we didn’t need Quail Creek or Sand Hollow reservoirs. Water comes out of your tap today because of those projects.

Dixie Power learned a valuable lesson in the early 1990s. Energy shortages in southern Utah forced rolling blackouts for our customers during peak times. Since that time, we have made considerable investments in our energy system to make sure customers have power when they need it.

Having lights when you turn on a switch and water when you turn on the tap takes planning, work, resources and vision. It doesn’t just happen.

If you enjoy reliable access to utility services, including power, gas, water and sewer, supporting efforts to enhance and expand these essential services for the continued prosperity of our current and future population and economy is essential.

Submitted by LaDEL LAUB, Dixie Power president and CEO.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting..

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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13 Comments

  • Redbud August 31, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Is there any alternative to the Lake Powell pipeline? Can more artificial reservoirs be built instead or maybe that wouldn’t give near enough water for the future? Also, if we build the Lake Powell pipeline, how many extra people would that serve? 250,000? 1 million? 3 million?

  • Scott August 31, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Hey, anything so Californians can have 2nd homes and Little Valley-ites can have 6 kids.

  • tazzman August 31, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Sand Hollow and Quail Creek bring water from the Virgin and are both just miles from the city. The Lake Powell pipeline would supposedly bring water from Powell for miles uphill, travel through the Grand Staircase, and then for miles downhill to Washington County.

    Current pro-pipeline folks say it will cost $1 billion while opponents say at least $3 billion. Anyone who knows the history of the Central Utah water project will see how cost overruns are likely.

    I think proponents might be underestimating the cost by a large margin.

  • DRT August 31, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    My big concern is if the water will be available if the pipeline is built. Or is this just a “crap shoot” to build it and “see what happens.”
    Anyone who doesn’t have these concerns should take a look at the article on our “new” airport. They have to close it for several months due to design flaws…Of course, they deny any design flaws and say that water just “came in” and created the problem.
    My point here is simple. When “the powers that be,” say a major project is needed, follow the money. See what is really going on with these projects.
    I’m not denying the need for the pipeline, or for the airport paving project. I’m just saying that we need to make sure, or as sure as possible, that these major buck projects will actually work.

  • Bmw2 August 31, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    How do they plan to keep the quagga mussel from clogging the pipe and causing frequent, costly repairs and maintenance?

  • bikeandfish August 31, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Isn’t it also up to the utility to listen to its constituents and invest in options that match their values and needs? We have pushback on the LPP because it doesn’t match the current economic capabilities of residents and the over utilization of the Colorado River system.

    I get the spirit of this letter but it doesn’t remotely deal with the complexity of the issue. The “trust us” approach ignores the intelligence of those who are against the project.

  • Larry August 31, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Yes We have X amount of water shares for water in Lake Powell. And these were assigned out 60+ years ago to help sell the idea of Lake Powell or rather the building of Glen Canyon Dam. And way back in the day when I was a wee lad growing up in Western Colorado, there was a well known saying based on Fact. “Every Snowflake That Falls On The Western Slope of The Colorado Rockies, Is Over Appropriated”. There are also people that have shares in the Colorado River (Drainage) way down stream, Problem is the Colorado no longer even reaches that far anymore, hasn’t for the past 40+ years (dry as a bone). There are going to be a lot of People make a lot of money off the pipeline even if not one drop flows out the faucet at this end. Like the people that made a killing off the Relatively New SG Airport… but that is another government boondoggle that already needs 4 month worth repair and (as Ricky Ricardo would say) Somebody needs to do some Splain’in on that!

    • Redbud August 31, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      If we actually build the pipeline to Lake Powell and start drawing water from it, will it significantly drop the water level of the lake from where it normally sits, or is this extra water that would have just been let through the dam to travel downstream anyways? How big in diameter would the pipe be, would it be mostly above or below ground, and would it require a bunch of pumping stations along the way, or would it just be one giant pump pushing it starting at Lake Powell?

  • zenzen September 1, 2018 at 5:26 am

    So, you admit that some time in the future there will be a time when the county population will grow and exceed the water supply, whether we have the pipeline or not? Isn’t it easier and a safer bet to limit the growth and encourage water saving measures now, when we have 200,000 people, rather that having our descendants have to deal with problems like shortages or pipeline failures in 30 years when there are 650,000 people after the pipeline? If you want a pipeline built now for growth, then you are nothing more than a selfish, greedy person that has no care for your children, grandchildren, and what the environment and landscape will look like in the future.

    • FedUp September 1, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Bingo!

    • Real Life September 1, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Zenzen just hit it out of the park.

  • beacon September 1, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Redbud, having studied the pipeline project it’s fairly clear that the water for the pipeline would not significantly drop the level of the lake. However, what has and will probably with current predictions continue to drop the level of the lake is climate change, less snow pack to fill the Colorado River and thus less water to fill Lake Powell. The pipe would be 60″ and will be mostly below ground although there will be several above-ground facilities along the pipeline route – some pushing the water up hill from Lake Powell and some producing some (not much) energy on the way down. The project will not really make much energy overall since it takes so much energy to push the water up about 3000 feet. Unless they build the pumped storage project – something they don’t like to talk about much because of the cost! – it’s really not an energy project but they’re trying to convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it is. As for Mr. Laub’s opinion piece, he’s just in line with other leaders since they’re all in lock step on supporting the project. It was interesting to listen to the August Executive Water Finance Board meeting during with the Weber Water Conservancy District Manager noted that we have to have the LPP because people with property that has not been developed yet need to have the assurance that their will be water. In essence, those who will pay for the project – state and ultimately citizens of Washington County and Kane County – will be subsidizing those folks who are sitting on property waiting to develop it. At least, that’s how it sounds to me. Maybe Mr. Laub has property he’s sitting on. And, of course, Dixie Escalante is shown as being a participant in the LPP project. So, it appears Mr. Laub’s company has some skin in the game?

  • Striker4 September 2, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Everybody just calm down and take it easy. we’re not going to run out of water, there is no such thing as global warming or climate change..so keep on watering your lawns 7 days a week all year round folks. nothing like fresh frozen lawn outside when Its 23 degrees eh ?
    oh yeah and make sure you run those sprinklers during the rain storms because that helps to and don’t bother covering up your pool when you don’t use it. after all water really doesn’t evaporate anyways that’s just a myth..
    and keep building golf courses in the middle of the desert that helps to.

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