The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will host virtual public meetings Wednesday and Thursday about a controversial planned pipeline from Lake Powell to southern Utah. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.
The agency published an environmental review of the proposed pipeline and will accept public comment on it until early September. The 140-mile-long pipeline will deliver eighty-six thousand acre-feet of water annually from Lake Powell to St. George and other cities in southern Utah.
The review examines two possible routes for the pipeline through public lands in Utah and Arizona, one of which would cross tribal land of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. Hydroelectric facilities would supply some of the energy required to pump the water uphill.
The Utah Division of Water Resources says the project is needed to meet future water demand in Washington County and that the roughly $2 billion dollar price tag is affordable. But critics say the pipeline is too expensive and will cause water rates to skyrocket. Groups like the Utah Rivers Council advocate for water conservation instead.
For more information on the public meetings, scheduled for Wed. and Thurs. at 6pm, and for information on how to submit comments, go to: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/DocLibrary/EnvironmentalImpactStatements/LakePowellPipeline/index.html