Agencies shoot down Utah application for Lake Powell Pipeline
Sep 27, 2018 | 1057 views | 0 0 comments | 195 195 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Federal regulators have decided to reduce their role in permitting the Lake Powell Pipeline, the largest new proposed diversion of the Colorado River. Since 2008, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been the lead permitting agency for the 140-mile long, $3 billion pipeline, according to a statement from

In its monthly meeting held Sept. 20, FERC clarified it was not the right agency to permit a water diversion of the Colorado River, since it is an energy regulatory agency.

The Utah Division of Water Resources has been retreating from the costly power generation facilities of the Lake Powell pipeline because they have no way to repay Utah taxpayers.

The pipeline would transport nearly 77 million gallons of Colorado River water a day to Washington County in southwest Utah where residents use 325 gallons per person per day, according to the FERC application. Amid widespread drought in the Colorado River Basin, Utah is pursuing the massive 140-mile pipeline regardless of the reliability of Colorado River flows and the impacts on downstream states.

“This is great news for Utah taxpayers because there is an abundance of less expensive water sources available to Washington County for a small fraction of the pipeline’s cost,” said Zach Frankel, executive director of Utah Rivers Council. “Perhaps the Division of Water Resources will be forced to acknowledge these alternatives instead of pretending they don’t exist.”

The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced there was a 90 percent chance of shortage in the Colorado River next year, which will occur if Lake Mead drops below 1,075 feet above sea level. This triggers a Tier 1 shortage where Arizona would lose the amount of water that would supply 2.4 million people a year, while Nevada would lose enough water to supply 96,000 people a year.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.