Once again the Lake Powell Pipeline was in the news this week. Utah Lawmakers dealt what could be the death blow to the $1 Billion Dollar Plus project by pulling support to use part of state wide sales tax money to fund the pipeline.
The State Legislature Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee voted 11-2 against the measure that would earmark future sales tax revenues for water projects such as the Lake Powell Pipeline.
A few weeks ago Gail Blattenberger, an economist at the University of Utah, was in the news regarding the pipeline. She then argued that the repayment projections for the Lake Powell pipeline fall far short of repaying the loan and the forecast demand is exaggerated.
Population numbers for project growth are significantly down from original projections. In Saint George new population projections for Washington County anticipate there will be about 400,000 people in the county in 2050, down from earlier projections of 600,000 residents.
Barbara Hjelle, assistant general manager with the Washington County Water Conservancy District, said that as more studies are completed and more information comes out, lawmakers will be more likely to recognize the need to find a secure funding source for the Lake Powell Pipeline. Washington County Water District managers are also skeptical of the state’s new population projections, pointing out Washington County has usually exceeded growth.
The fear is, that with the pipeline, and no state help, end water users in St. George could end up paying a $200.00/month water bill, which for most folks is not possible.
From my last post
The proposal on the table is to build a @ $2 billion dollar project which includes a 66 inch pipeline from Lake Powell 120 miles to Sand Hollow Reservoir, above St. George, UT. This pipeline would deliver 70,000 acre feet of water annually to St. George. Kane County would receive 10,000 acre feet and Iron County 20,000 acre feet. One acre foot of water is 325,851 gallons and is roughly enough water for a family of four for one year. The Washington County Water Conservancy District has paid for the studies so far.
While the proposed pipeline would have little effect on the Big Water, Kane County area, it will be running through our front yard.