What is the Lake Powell-St. George Pipeline?
The Washington County Water District is proposing to build a 139 mile pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George. This pipeline would pump approximately 86,000 Acre Feet of water a from an already shrinking Lake Powell. Cost estimates for this project range from 1.4 to 2.4 billion dollars. The ENTIRE repayment burden of this wasteful project will fall on the taxpayers of Washington and Kane Counties.
Why build the Lake Powell-St. George Pipeline?
The rationale behind the pipeline is based on the hopelessly optimistic, boom-only mentality that played into the original study. This study was conducted prior to the Great Recession and is now recognized to incorporate an excessive rate of growth, outdated water use numbers, and unreasonably low water conservation expectations. And though the initial plans called for water delivery by 2020, no consideration was made for the twin on-going effects of a continuing long-term drought and rising temperature levels in the West.
So what does the Sierra Club propose?
Much can be done to conserve water in our desert environment, but strategies should be centered on conservation, wise and efficient use of local water supplies, water re-use, and pricing strategies. Simply attempting to acquire water from great distances is expensive and not sustainable.
Need more information?
The Citizens for Dixie’s Future (a grassroots coalition of Washington County citizens committed to protecting southern Utah's natural resources and quality of life) have an excellent webpage with more information as well as numerous links. The Utah Division of Water Resources maintains a website dedicated to the project.
With regards to global warming trends, there are many sites with much data to sift through and graphs to peruse. Here are a few noteworthy ones:
Do you want to keep track of the prolonged drying trend of Lake Powell? Check out: