Lake Powell pipeline | KUER 90.1

Lake Powell pipeline

Phot of Lake Powell.
Bernard Spragg / Flickr

Utah officials are drastically scaling back hydroelectric power plans for the controversial Lake Powell pipeline, saying the move will save taxpayers $100 million dollars on the proposed project.

Photo of turn farm.
Judy Fahys / KUER

The drive behind a massive water development project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could potentially force more conservation or cutbacks.

The Colorado River is short on water. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at a slate of proposed water projects in the river’s Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

The river and its tributaries provide water for 40 million people in the Southwest. For about the last 20 years, demand for water has outstripped the supply, causing its largest reservoirs to decline.

istock.com / sjgh

Proponents of the Lake Powell Pipeline say they’re confident they can raise enough money from southwestern Utah water users to repay any loans from state taxpayers.

Aerial view of St. George, Utah.
iStock.com/alpenarts

The federal agency overseeing the Lake Powell Pipeline license application issued a key ruling on Tuesday which some critics are saying will delay the project. But supporters insist that now they're actually a step closer to getting final approval.

trees in the water at a desert reservoir.
iStock.com / SumikoPhoto

The Utah Water Resources Division and the Washington County Water Conservancy District asked federal regulators Wednesday to resume processing a permit application for the multi-billion-dollar Lake Powell Pipeline.

wbeem/Flickr Creative Commons

A federal agency has pressed the “pause” button on the license for the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Judy Fahys/KUER

The state’s making progress on its proposal for the Lake Powell Pipeline. But now it’s asking to pause its federal license long enough to get an answer to a crucial question.

Judy Fahys / KUER

The state agency behind the Lake Powell Pipeline proposal is asking for more time to provide key information to federal regulators.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah leaders are prodding the Trump administration to expedite the Lake Powell Pipeline. They’re not asking for money but to speed up governmental approval.

Utah Department of Water Resources

A state panel ruled Thursday that Utah citizens have a right to know more about how they might be expected to pay for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline.

Washington County Water Conservancy District

The Lake Powell Pipeline would haul Utah’s last big share of Colorado River water uphill from Lake Powell, bring it halfway across the state and deliver it to fast-growing Kane and Washington Counties.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Water managers warn that Utah faces over $30 billion in water needs in coming decades. But auditors reported last year that the state’s water oversight is too patchy to know what projects are really needed.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Opposition has poured in against the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ended a public comment period on Monday.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah senators passed a bill Friday to start saving money for big water projects in a move opposed on environmental and fiscal grounds.

Judy Fahys/KUER

A Senate panel signed off Wednesday on using sales taxes to help pay for water projects, including the controversial Lake Powell Pipeline.

Photo of Lake Powell.
Linde Cater / National Park Service

The first draft of a proposal to construct a giant straw from Lake Powell to southwestern Utah has landed on the desk of federal regulators just as new concerns about the project are being raised in the State Capitol.

Wolfgang Staudt / Wikimedia Commons

Economists from three Utah universities say repayment costs for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline would be way out of reach for water users in Washington County.

Judy Fahys/KUER

In a parched corner of the nation's second driest state, the Virgin River delivers life-giving water to wildlife, farms and increasing numbers of people.

Ron Thompson sees a future when four times as many people could be living here in St. George, and they’ll need more water than the Virgin can provide. That’s why he wants the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Clint Losee / Flickr Creative Commons

Utah’s business community is launching a new initiative this week focusing on water. Business leaders say protecting current water supplies and developing new ones is essential if the state is going to continue to operate smoothly and to grow.