Officials lower cost estimate of proposed Lake Powell Pipeline by $100M

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

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah officials say they have shaved $100 million off the estimated price of a proposed pipeline that would pull water from Lake Powell.

The Utah Division of Water Resources said in a news release Wednesday the cost savings come from scrapping plans for two reservoirs that would have generated hydropower at peak demand times.

Division spokeswoman Marcie Larson says the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline project is estimated to cost between $1 billion and $1.7 billion, down from as much as $1.8 billion. It would be repaid over 50 years.

A legislative audit found the pipeline will require large fee, rate and tax increases in Washington County to pay for the project.

Critics call the project an unnecessary use of funds and say the emphasis should be getting residents to use less water.

The project is pending regulatory reviews.

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