Staffs of the five Utah members of Congress met Tuesday with officials of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District in a last-ditch attempt to work out a compromise bill on future funding of the project.

The project's cost will exceed its $2.2 billion authorization before it is completed, sometime in the 1990s.Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, is expected to introduce a new version of the bill later this week when he returns from a House committee trip to the Middle East. Owens' measure would cut $200 million from the $754 million he recommended in a bill introduced late last year.

The Republican members want to keep most of the money Central Utah Project officials have estimated it would cost to finish the entire project.

Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, is opposed to Owens' cut of funds for the Upalco project, which would reduce Upalco to a study.

Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, has said environmentalists are holding up the CUP to get cuts and new features to benefit fish and wildlife.

A draft compromise bill was leaked late last week before all of the delegation was ready to sign off on it, and several members, as well as Marcus Faust, chief lobbyist for the project, were upset.

The delegation is rushing to get a bill introduced before next Monday's House committee hearing in Salt Lake City on the reauthorization.