Lake Powell pipeline foes rejoice in delay

Published: Friday, Feb. 8 2013 3:25 p.m. MST

This session, Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, proposed adding sales tax to water bills to help fund projects. The measure was held up in committee this week and declared dead by its critics, who saw it as another way to fund the Lake Powell Pipeline.

On Friday, Jenkins said he is not so sure the measure is in the trash can.

"Frankly I got them looking at another angle," he said. "It's not totally dead yet."

Jenkins, who serves on the state's Water Development Commission, said the reality of the Lake Powell Pipeline project is that it would capture 86,000 acre-feet of Utah's share of the Colorado River that slips by into Nevada and California.

"People don't want to develop that area, but we have an allotment of Colorado River water. I am afraid if we don't get that in the next few years, it won't be there."

With the timing and the financing of the project in question, critics say it is time to pull the plug on the pipeline, but Washington County's top water manager isn't budging in his quest for a new water supply for the future.

"There is no question we will have to have an additional water source," said Ron Thompson, general manger of the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

"Our view is that we are going to keep moving ahead," he said, "but we are not fools. We are not going to build it unless we are sure we need it and we have figured out a way to pay for it. We still have an enormous amount of work to do."

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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