Will Utah take more water from the Colorado River Basin?

Sarah Tory at High Country News has a nice summary of one of those classic western water issues worth watching – the Lake Powell Pipeline proposal:

The project would pump 86,000 acre-feet of water from Lake Powell 140 miles across the desert through a 69-inch buried pipe and then 2,000 feet up and over the mountains into the Sand Hollow Reservoir, 13 miles west of St. George.

For nearly a decade, the pipeline has provoked intense debate, pitting two visions of water management against each other. On one side are those who think the project is not only an outdated solution to water needs, but unnecessary. On the other are those who believe the pipeline is an essential part of addressing southwestern Utah’s future growth.

I’ve been thinking of this as one of the West’s “zombie projects”, relics of a past approach to water management that won’t move forward because of the reality of its enormous cost relative to the amount of water it would provide, and the steady reductions in per capita water use pretty much everywhere. But it keeps inching forward. I could be wrong about zombies.