OPINION — As a life-long resident of Washington County, a current county commissioner and the former county administrator and head of emergency preparedness, I know firsthand how important it is to plan for the future and be prepared for the unknown. That’s one of the reasons I appreciate the hard work that has gone into drafting the Lake Powell Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement.
Ensuring our community has an adequate water supply is one of the fundamental roles of local government and water providers. That is why the Washington County commissioners unanimously support the Lake Powell Pipeline. The LPP is the best alternative for meeting the water needs of our growing population.
Most Southern Utah residents depend exclusively on the Virgin River basin to supply water. This water source is extremely vulnerable and variable. If water quality or quantity problems arise with the Virgin River, it places us at great risk.
The Lake Powell Pipeline adds another reliable source of water (the Colorado River) to help ensure uninterrupted water delivery to homes and businesses now and in the future. LPP will use only 6% of Utah’s annual reliable supply of the Colorado River. The Lake Powell Pipeline will also help protect against inevitable droughts by providing additional water supplies and allowing for more local storage.
Because of our arid climate and propensity to drought, our region also experiences wildfires. The additional water the Lake Powell Pipeline will store closer to our communities is critical for fire protection.
In summary, LPP is necessary to avoid water shortage and quality threats to the residents of Washington County.
I look forward to seeing a Record of Decision in favor of the LPP Southern Alternative.
Submitted by DEAN COX, Washington County Commission.
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