Comments about ‘Lake Powell Pipeline: Albatross or golden goose?’

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Published: Sunday, May 13 2012 6:34 p.m. MDT

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sjgf
South Jordan, UT

Currently, Utah has unused water rights to the Colorado River water. Other states, such as Nevada and California, are using more of the Colorado River water than they are entitled to.

If Utah doesn't start to use its shares, politics will eventually dissolve Utah's rights to this water. Either we build such a pipeline, or the right will eventually transfer permanently to other states.

On the other hand, it is very expensive to pipe this water.

As a model, we have the California Aqueduct, which diverts a lot of water from the San Joaquin River in Northern California, to supply the Southern California areas of Victorville, Los Angeles, etc. I used to live in that area and was disturbed during drought years when the water went south to keep the Southern California lawns green, while drought restrictions forced those in Northern California to let their lawns die. If politics hadn't altered nature, those in Northern California would have had plenty of water, and those in Southern California would have had to tighten their belts.

Political decisions must be made. Either spend the money to use the water to which we have rights, or lose those rights.

AmPatriot
Taylorsville, UT

Most of the people of Utah are too young to remember to reason for and why we still have an item on property tax notices of something called the Jorandelle Canal or Pipeline tax as it was initially began as. But about 40 years ago in Utah we voted a bond to build a pipe line from the Colorado river to SL valley. But about half way across Utah and the going through the Wasatch Mountains Corruption in the pipeline taxes took all the money and the shut down this project.

Then conveniently by legislation, they converted the pipeline taxes being collected to build what is now presently known as the Jordanelle Reservoir near Park City using the pipeline taxes which the state still collects the taxes to this day. I think the logic is that the pipeline is still a work in progress idea and idea's cost money in Utah since it is intellectual property.

Anyway the pipe line is a curse to tax payers and it should be noted and required that if not completed or if completed the bond and tax is immediately dissolved.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

Definitely albatross. Anyone should be able to see this is a bad idea.

If Washington County had to bear 100% of the cost they would never build it.

If Washington County doesn't bear all of the costs, this amounts to everybody else in the state having to spend a ridiculous amount of money to subsidize golf courses in the middle of the desert.

Explosive growth and fairly low water bills in the middle of the desert are totally unnatural, and nobody should have expected that either would last long.

David B.
Cedar City, UT

Utah and Az. should have the primary rights to the water at Lake Powell and it should completely utilized by the people of southern Utah. Heck with Ca. if they need water water build a water purification system large enough to use the pacific ocean.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

David B.,
"Heck with Ca. if they need water water build a water purification system large enough to use the pacific ocean."

That's a rather ungenerous thought to have about your fellow Americans. Anyhow, St. George is as foreign to me as SoCal. Might as well be in another state; they're close enough to the border. So I say to heck with St.George. If they need water they can wake up, realize they live on the border of the torrid Mojave, and get rid of the lawns and golf courses. That should buy them enough time and water to figure out the finances of the pipeline.

SoCal can't have that water forever anyway, it's legally entitled to Utah. But Washington County is intent on wasting it and doing so in a very expensive manner. On what planet is it responsible or economical to have lush green lawns for 100,000+ people in a climate that can barely grow Joshua trees? The culture of St.George needs to change, then water managers like Ron Thompson won't have to cater to it with projects like this.

JediToby
Tooele, UT

Hey, at least someone wants to use Utah's water for a Utah community. Las Vegas (that's south of St. George, by the way) wants to pump out our groundwater here in Tooele county to keep them viable, notwithstanding the fact that the last five years have seen massive contraction in their population due to the economic climate.

But to the point at hand: didn't I just read in another article that the Colorado was oversubscribed in the first place? I see the need--St. George et al. is a growing community and that needs water--but I'm really wondering about the availability of the supply. The problem is that in 20 years, St. George isn't going to be growing as the boomers die off. Then what?

Flashback
Kearns, UT

AmPatriot-The Central Utah water project has taken a lot of that water from the Colorado River drainage and put it into the Wasatch front. You don't believe me, go up the road to Mirror Lake and stop at some of the places where those pipelines have been in place for some time. Same thing with the tunnel from Strawberry through Diamond Fork. Northern Utah has infrustructure in place to take advantage of our allotment of Colorado River water, but Southern Utah doesn't. We need to get the water, otherwise, we will lose it. I wouldn't expect Van Dam to like it anyway.

DustinCedarCity
Cedar City, UT

I live in Cedar City (Iron County) and I was thrilled when our leaders here decided not to be involved with this Titanic water project! I think it's ridiculous. I heard that something like 61% of household water usage in Washington County goes to water lawns? That's INSANE! Even if that figure is off, there is still no reason people in an extremely arid desert need to have green lawns. Also I agree with other commentors who've said the tax payers of Utah shouldn't have to pay to keep golf courses green around St. George.

For being a very conservative state, people in Utah, especially Washington County, sure don't seem to apply that conservatism to water usage! I'm sure many see water conservatism as green or liberal or whatever, so it must be evil then lol.

My other concern is Lake Powell. What's going to be left of that lake in the 20s when the project is done? You can't pump water from an empty lake!

And the California water isn't only for California's use. It benefits us all. Do you like to eat lettuce? Thank California water for that.

Dart Thrower
Ogden, UT

This is the worst kind of socialism. The residents of Washington County have outgrown their natural supply of water, so to increase it unnaturally, everyone in Utah is supposed to chip in. If Washington County wants to build this and reap the economic benefits, then they should bond for it and put impact fees on all new construction. Isn't that the way the free market is supposed to work?

Hank
Saint George, UT

Re: dart thrower.... The residents would probably vote down a bond for this project and thats why the Water District petitioned the state legislature for some kind of a state tax or funding to help pay for it. The state went for it and now everybody gets to pay. The county residents have already seen how the district is blowing money on a "no expenses spared" office building for themselves and now a $1.4 million dollar park next to it to show how they can spend even more money. This project will be at least 2 billion when they get finished with it so the $1.2 billion they are talking about is way too low. Cedar City was smart to opt out of this deal.

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