Letter to the Editor: Lake Powell Pipeline is an unfair financial burden that could be avoided with xeriscaping

Stock image shows an example of xeriscaping. | Photo by Christine_Kohler/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

OPINION — I am writing to express my opposition to the Lake Powell Pipeline.

My husband and I have lived in the St. George area for 14 years, and since we moved here we’ve been shocked at how much water is wasted. Most of the homes have lawns, which are the primary water-wasters along with irrigation. I see fields and lawns watered during the middle of the day in 100-degree heat, windy or not. I see water running off lawns directly into the gutters and sprinklers hitting asphalt and concrete.

Simply replacing lawns with xeriscaping, planting more native trees (mesquite, desert willow, et cetera) for shade and replacing water-intensive crops (alfalfa) with less water-intensive crops will probably save enough water to eliminate the need for a pipeline. It is possible to have comfortable, attractive surroundings without turning the desert into a meadow.

The LPP funding is unfair to residents. My husband and I live in a desert subdivision, Kayenta, with a private water system. Most people in Kayenta do not have lawns. Our average water use is between 4,000 to 6,000 per month. That’s between 67 and 100 gallons per person per day, compared to the average of 143-230+ gallons (depending on your source) used per person per day in Washington County. But the Water Conservancy District is charging all homeowners through their property taxes a set amount, no matter how much water they use or whether they use a private water system.

This setup does not incentivize water conservation, and private water users are paying for other people to waste water. To be fair, people should pay only for the water they use and not be taxed if they are not using water provided by the Water Conservancy District.

Long-term forecasts predict increasing drought conditions in the southwestern United States. That means there is a high probability that the Colorado River will shrink and not be able to meet all its water demands. The Water Conservancy District seems to be ignoring the risk they are taking with our money of the possibility that there will be no water available for the LPP when it’s finished.

It appears to me that most of the people supporting the development of the LPP are developers and politicians who want this area to grow fast. Most people who are against it want this area to grow smart. And no one wants to pay back billions of dollars on a questionable project that will not benefit them directly.

Submitted by MELANIE FLORENCE, Ivins City.

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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