Colorado should challenge the Lake Powell Pipeline because it would promote Utah’s wasting of precious Colorado River water when deliveries to other states are being cut back.
Colorado and other states heavily rely on Colorado River water. Because of climate change and the mega-drought, some deliveries have already been reduced and caused economic hardship. Unfortunately, despite this new reality, Utah politicians and the Bureau of Reclamation are pushing to approve the controversial pipeline before President Trump may leave office in January.
The bureau recently released a biased environmental study that fails to analyze any water conservation alternatives. Washington County, Utah, where I live, would receive the pipeline water. It uses an average of 302 gallons per capita day. In contrast, Denver uses 142 and the national average is 138. The county refuses to implement reasonable water conservation measures that have been successful elsewhere.
The pipeline may violate the Colorado River Compact by transferring upper basin water for a lower basin use. Its construction would harm public lands, scenic vistas and wildlife such as threatened Mojave desert tortoises.
During this pandemic economy, with high priority public needs short on funding, this $3 billion boondoggle should not proceed without a fair analysis of alternatives that are likely to be cheaper and less environmentally destructive.
Richard SpottsSaint George, Utah