Letter to the Editor: Counter-opinion to ‘The goose that laid the golden quagga mussel’

COUNTER-OPINION – Greta Hyland’s March 1, 2013 opinion piece, ON Kilter: The goose that laid the golden quagga mussel, has several factual errors and misunderstandings. Washington County Water Conservancy District would like to clarify information inaccurately presented as facts rather than opinions:

1. There is not an over allocation of water in the upper basin states of the Colorado River Compact. Allocation shortages only exist in the lower basin states of Nevada, Arizona and California. For decades, the lower basin states have received more than their allocation of water due to upper basin surpluses.

2. The district does not “suggest that we could have upwards of 800,000 people in Washington County.” The district does not make population suggestions nor does it have authority to control or regulate growth. The Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget’s 2012 Projection for Washington County, Utah is a population of 581,731 by 2060 – (see Utah governor’s projections Web page linked here). The district always uses the Governor’s projections for planning purposes.

3. The Lake Powell Pipeline project does not “guarantee our fresh water sources will become infested with mussels.” The pipeline is a single, controlled source that is easier to manage than other contamination sources, for example the thousands of boaters who may not fully adhere to the washing requirements specified by the Utah State Park Service after visiting Lake Mead or Lake Powell.

4. Hyland writes: “The WCWCD states that the quagga mussel is not a big deal, that there are chemicals that can be used to keep them out of pipelines and that by the time the pipeline gets built there will be a solution to the mussel problem.”

To clarify, the district believes quagga mussels are a “big deal,” which is evident in the frequent tests performed at our reservoirs, ongoing research of treatment options and dialogue with other water treatment plant operators familiar with this issue. Fortunately, there is a proven track record of success for treating quagga mussels in pipelines. The mussels have existed in our nation for nearly three decades without prohibiting water delivery via pipelines.

We don’t know if there will be a solution to the mussel problem when the Lake Powell Pipeline is built, but research on effective treatment methods is ongoing and additional treatment options may be available in the future.

Submitted by the Washington County Water Conservancy District

Related posts

Quagga Mussels

Lake Powell Pipeline

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16 Comments

  • Bub March 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    1-hopefully the lower basin states will file enough lawsuits to stall your pipe indefinitely. Back to the drawing board for you to figure out another way to rob the taxpayers.
    2 -The district would like to guarantee cheap water to land developers at the expense of taxpayers. admit it
    3-Mussels and their larvae are going to get into the pipe at some point. There’s no way you can guarantee they won’t, whether a fault in a filter or human error, and they will likely infest other reservoirs. Just how much poison do you all plan to use to control these things?
    4-Just how much will this ‘magical’ chemical poison treatment cost? What are the effects of this on the water for marine life? and human consumption?
    5-Why should we as taxpayers subsidize unlimited water for private golf course developments and resorts? How can you guarantee Lake Powell will even provide this unlimited water that you think it will? Why can’t you people get your land developer friends to help pay for this? Why do you want to lay it all on the taxpayers? Finally, besides “growth”, what are any good reasons at all to build the thing? Should we not be focusing on conserving the water we already have? The huge amounts of water already wasted by current water use practices?

    • Biden 2016 March 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      ” Why can’t you people get your land developer friends to help pay for this?”
      Bub. Your dream has come true. I pay anywhere from 6400 to around 12,000 to the WCWCD for each building permit that I pull. Don’t think that development is not paying for this.

      • Bender March 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

        You conveniently neglect to mention the additional ad valorem tax levied by the WCWCD on each household. Right now it is 0.1%, rising to 0.4% as the pipeline is built. That means on a $250,000 home I pay $250/year, rising to $1,000/year. Over twenty years the money paid for the one-time impact fee is much less than the ongoing yearly tax.
        .
        So no, BIDEN 2106, new development is not paying for the pipeline. The general population is heavily subsidizing the pipeline to the benefit, mainly, of the pioneer royalty landholders and the real estate industry.
        .
        As a Tea Party supporter and, apparently, a contractor I assume your company is registered with E-Verify? Because it would be, you know, hypocritical to employ undocumented Mexican nationals while at the same time throwing in with the Tea Party immigration hysteria.

      • Chris March 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

        Development is paying only part of the cost of the pipeline. The remainder is to be paid by existing residents. Why should existing residents pay anything?

      • Bub March 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

        So BIDEN 2016 is for or against the pipe?

        • Read between the lines March 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

          YES, that is it! He wants it, he doesn’t want it. Depends on who he is talking to!

  • Bender March 4, 2014 at 12:17 am

    quagga mussels are a problem which can be dealt with by throwing more money at the design and operation of the water conveyance system. The problem that won’t go away is the untenable total cost of the project. This dog won’t hunt.

  • Bub March 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I think you water district goons should be prosecuted for fraud, the way you people blatantly misrepresent the facts. If you people were honest and upfront about the thing you know that no one in their right mind would pay for your silly pipe. Conflicts of interest galore, I’m confident the law will catch up to you all one day, or at least the residents will catch on to all your lies…

  • skip2maloo March 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Looks like you have 2 against and 1 in the middle. I’m happy to throw my lot in with the pro pipeline proponents. What’s so onerous about growth? Imagine if someone before us advocated for limited growth? Manage it, sure, but quit the delusion that you can stop the growth. Unless you want to mandate a limit on children!

    • Bub March 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

      SKIP2MALOO must have got a cut $$$ from the good ol’ boys at the WCWCD. It isn’t so much the pipe idea itself SKIP, it’s the lies, lies, more lies, backroom deals $$$, conflicts of interest. If the pipe is such a grand idea then they can build it in the private sector. The way they use lies and distorted facts to try to convince us it’s a sound idea IS FRAUDULENT.

      • skip2maloo March 6, 2014 at 11:43 am

        No dealin on my part. If the end doesn’t, in your estimate, justify the means, but the end itself is not such a bad idea, then give up the frustration with the process. Not unusual that politics is messy and conflicting. Personally, I’ve listened to lies and distortions from the “no pipeline” interests, the crowd that doesn’t like more people than just themselves here.

        • Bub March 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm

          Here’s how I see it SKIP: I don’t want my water bill to go up 500% and property taxes jump just so the golf-courses can continue to enjoy cheap water at my expense. Some wise use of the water supply would free up enough water for probably 4X the current population, but it might mean that old-timers with their already plush lifestyles may have to learn to enjoy golfing in the sand…

        • Bender March 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

          Ignore the environmentalist doomsayers in this argument. The real argument against building now is the cost. This is plain and simple a tax on the backs of the average Joe that will disproportionately benefit a few. We have enough water right now to grow out to above 500,000. If the pipeline makes sense at that point in the future we can build it then.

        • Bub March 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm

          Maybe SKIP is one of those lucky few that inherited a big 200 acre tract of land, and he hopes to sell it for development. In that case I can see why he would be for the pipe. There’s lots of $$$ in a private golf-course surrounded by high-end McMansions…

  • cranky March 5, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Water has always been about ‘fightn’ . people have been fighting about water
    for 10,000 years. Doesn’t matter what the average person squawks about,
    not going to do a bit of good one way or the other. Its already decided . “Their the
    Deciders” Same with Keystone…. already done. You just have the Illusion that you
    live in a free country. They give you little tastes of it, to make you hope to think you
    still got it. But you don’t. Democrat/Republican don’t matter their all the same guy, once he’s in office. The sooner you give up the dream and face the reality the
    sooner you might be on the road back to what you once thought was important.
    But as a society , we can cut it any more , to soft. Were done. Its a long road down.

    • Bub March 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

      The debate will probably drag on for a few more years, maybe by the time the deal is finalized there won’t be much water left in Lake Powell, but it’ll probably still be built even if that’s the case.

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