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Utah water projects get a boost from congressional infrastructure bill

Sen. Mitt Romney at a press conference in Spanish Fork, UT.
Lexi Peery
Standing near large pipes for the Central Utah Project, local leaders and water officials thanked Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, for his work on the congressional infrastructure bill.

A critical Utah water project will get millions from the congressional infrastructure spending bill. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, worked on the bipartisan legislation and received thanks Friday afternoon in southern Utah County from local officials and water managers.

They met in Spanish Fork and toured a construction site for a portion of the Central Utah Project — a decades-long project that pipes Colorado River water to the Wasatch Front. It’s getting a $50 million boost, but was almost left out of the final bill, according to Romney.

But he said it was added at the last minute.

“This is really critical for us to be able to get water for Utah County and for Salt Lake County,” Romney said. “If this doesn't get done now, it could stretch on for a long time and could result in even greater shortages, and even with the drought going on right now, we need to move this along.”

Officials on the project said the money will go toward constructing a segment of the pipeline that serves 10 communities in the county. They said the funding will help cut the timeline in half for this section of the project.

Todd Adams, deputy director of Utah’s Department of Natural Resources, said this infrastructure project and others funded by the bill will help generations in the future.

“Utah, as the fastest growing state in the nation, has critical infrastructure needs,” he said. “Not only do we need new infrastructure to support our growth, we also need to maintain and replace our aging infrastructure to preserve the quality of life Utah is famous for.”

The infrastructure bill also allocates money to drought and wildfire mitigation in the state, as well as over $200 million to fully fund the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement, which brings running water to parts of the Navajo Nation in Utah.

Lexi is KUER's Southwest Bureau reporter
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