Letter to the Editor: Time has come to begin construction on Lake Powell Pipeline

Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona, date unspecified | Photo by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay, St. George News

OPINION — I’ve been in the automobile business for nearly 50 years and have owned more than 20 franchises throughout Utah.

Our business has expanded along with the significant growth in St. George and Washington County. We’ve made substantial capital investments and added hundreds of new jobs in Southern Utah. By all accounts, we will continue to expand along with the local population and employment opportunities that far surpass state growth.

Water has the potential to have a significant effect on our industry’s ability to grow and employ residents. A stable water supply is critical to the success of current and future businesses and continued expansion of employment opportunities in the area.

Utah has the distinction of being both one of the driest states in the nation and one of the fastest growing. In 2018, St. George was named the fastest-growing metro area in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau. State population projections predict Washington will be the fastest growing county in Utah, more than tripling in size by 2065.

Most of southern Utah’s population is totally dependent on an inconsistent desert tributary for water. I’m concerned that periods of drought could create strain and distress on our water supply.

The Lake Powell Pipeline introduces a reliable water source – the Colorado River – into the region, helping to ensure uninterrupted water delivery to homes and businesses now and in the future. The Colorado River as a second water source and local reservoir storage will help Southern Utah residents weather frequent droughts.

We all benefit from the planning done by our forefathers. Our families need us to exercise the same vision. Most of our future residents will be our children and grandchildren who choose to remain in the area. These families will require water for economic vitality, jobs and to sustain their quality of life. Plus, we all have to face the reality that water supply cannot be treated as a commodity, like automobiles that can be manufactured or delivered on a real time basis.

Utahns have to solve what may be one of the most daunting problems we have ever faced: how to stretch limited water supplies to meet the needs of the estimated 6 million people expected to call Utah home by the year 2060.

Our water providers have developed a comprehensive approach to supplying water for the future, including new resource development and ongoing conservation. The state of Utah identified the need for the Lake Powell Pipeline more than a decade ago.

It’s time to move the project forward so the state can begin construction.

Submitted by STEPHEN W. WADE, St. George

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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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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