Lake Powell Pipeline

While other Colorado River states are cutting back water usage and the amount of water they take out of the Colorado River, the state of Utah wants to build Lake Powell Pipeline to take 28 billion gallons of water every year and transport it 140 miles across public lands to Washington County and possibly Kane County. 

Keep Kanab Unspoiled opposes the Lake Powell Pipeline because the water in the Colorado River is not there and the project is economically wasteful. 

Utah has already allocated water rights to more than 100% of the physical water within its Colorado River watershed. Moreover, the water rights being used to supply the Lake Powell pipeline does not have high enough priority status to guarantee the water will be available over the long term. 

The Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) puts the price tag for the Lake Powell Pipeline at $2 BILLION. But project costs could be as high as $5 billion. A 2019 Audit by the Utah Legislative Auditor General found interest payments alone could mount to $1.6 Billion, ballooning the total costs of the pipeline to around $4 Billion. 

Kane County Water Conservancy District opted out of the NEPA process, but still plans to build a side pipeline for Kane County at some point in the future. 

Background information:

  • The Lake Powell Pipeline is a $2-$5 Billion project.
  • The pipeline would transport 28,000,000,000 gallons of water each year from Lake Powell to Washington County – if the water is there!
  • The planned pipeline is 140 miles long and will run through Kane County for about 50 miles.
  • Kane County pulled out of the NEPA process back in April. Kane County Water Conservancy District is still looking to receive water from the pipeline at some future point.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in June 2020. Over 14,000 public comments were submitted.
  • The six other Colorado River states submitted comments opposing the building of the pipeline because it is in violation of the Colorado River Compact of 1922.

Click here to read articles about the Lake Powell Pipeline