As the past director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, I had many opportunities to talk about the Lake Powell Pipeline, or LPP. When asked about the project, I always answered questions based on the information I had, with consideration for the position and responsibilities of the division I worked for and my personal beliefs about conservation and local involvement.
I want Utah to continue to grow and be able to provide jobs and housing for our posterity and those who want to live here. I believe water development and water conservation are both absolute necessities. I believe the LPP is the best way for Washington and Kane counties to supplement their water supplies. It has the fewest environmental and water resource impacts on the area. The proposed water supply for the LPP from the Colorado River is Utah's by compact and will be used somewhere in Utah at some time.
I also believe water conservation is not a single purpose alternative to meeting future water needs in Washington County or anywhere else. Water conservation has and can push back the demand for additional water. The willingness of local residences to make significant landscape modification as part of its water conservation effort does stretch the existing water supply, but even then, additional water will be needed at some time to meet projected future population needs.
My support of this project has not changed since I left the division. I still believe the LPP, with wise use of existing water supplies and water conservation, is the best way for Washington and Kane counties to provide water for growth. Water conservation is essential throughout the entire state of Utah, however, conservation alone will not solve water resource issues. It is time to develop the LPP to secure a portion of the state’s Colorado River allocation and build in the reliability needed to provide for a sustainable Utah.