Lake Powell Pipeline Update
Quagga Mussels Not Considered a Threat to LPP
The State of Utah and its partners have been dealing with quagga mussels for more than a decade and have plans in place to keep mussels from becoming an issue for the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP).

"The State of Utah, through the Department of Natural Resource’s aquatic invasive species program, spends millions of dollars annually to keep quagga mussels from spreading to other Utah lakes and reservoirs from Lake Powell. It's an extremely successful and aggressive program," said DNR Executive Director Brian Steed. "Keeping our waterbodies free of invasive species will continue to be a priority for the state; and that focus extends to the future development of water delivery systems."

Quagga mussels were discovered in the Great Lakes in the 1980s and invaded Lake Powell in 2012. They “hitch” onto boats, trailers and equipment and can be transported from one water body to the next. It is easier to treat a pipe for mussels than an open body of water.

Plans are in place to prevent the spread of the mussels from Lake Powell through the proposed pipeline and Sand Hollow reservoir. Preliminary designs for the Lake Powell Pipeline include a filtration system, chemical mix and coating to be applied to the intake portion of the pipeline that would help prevent mussels from entering the system. Water entering the LPP intake (where the water enters the pipe) will be treated with an EPA and National Park Service-approved molluscicide, then the water would be passed through a filter to remove biological materials. This process could be repeated at each of the four booster pump stations as well to stop mussels from reaching Sand Hollow (near St. George, UT).

Fish and trash screens on the LPP intake would require periodic physical cleaning to remove adult mussels and other biological growth from the screen surfaces. This is a similar approach the Southern Nevada Water Authority has taken for its third intake at Lake M ead. See more at .
Utah's Right to Develop its Colorado River Water
As one of the most arid and fastest-growing states in the nation, Utah needs to develop and use its available water, including a portion of its legally apportioned water from the Colorado River delivered through the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP). Utah’s thriving economy and desirable address are the result of a safe, reliable water supply that exists today due to prior planning and development.

When operating at full capacity, LPP will deliver 86,249 acre feet of water annually from Lake Powell to 13 communities in southern Utah. The project will diversify the area’s water supply and enhance its reliability because most of the region depends exclusively on a single water source of variable quantity and quality. LPP introduces one of the state’s most reliable water sources – the Colorado River – into the region.

A complex set of compacts, federal laws, court decisions and decrees, contracts, and regulations, known as the “Law of the River,” guides use of the Colorado River and protects use of state water rights. According to Don Ostler, former Executive Director and Secretary, Upper Colorado River Commission, “The upper basin states (Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah) must allow 75 million acre feet of water in a 10-year running total to pass to the lower basin (California, Nevada and Arizona). Today, the upper basin is using about 4.5 million acre feet and determined a safe yield would be 6 million acre feet. Even with this safety factor, the upper basin still has more supply it can develop.”  
Utah’s allocation is 23% of the available water supply in the upper basin. The average annual reliable supply for the state is approximately 1.4 million acre feet. Currently, Utah is using approximately one million acre feet, including evaporation and system loss, leaving 400,000 acre feet available for use.

Some question the reliability of the Colorado River to supply the project given almost two decades of drought. A closer look at recent hydrologic modeling underscores the river’s track record of dependability. The reliability is documented in the 69 th Annual Report of the Upper Colorado River Commission, which cites that the upper basin states delivered more than 92 million acre feet of water to the lower basin states over the last 10 years, which have been some of the driest of the last century. This is 17 million acre feet more than required by the Colorado River Compact.

Utah can legally develop the LPP to secure water for its future, consistent with the actions of other states. The Law of the River does not allocate water to states on a “first in time, first in right” basis. The compacts were expressly developed to ensure that faster growing states such as California would not be able to claim all the available basin water. Utah’s State Engineer, Kent Jones, has said Lake Powell is “one of the firmest water supplies in Utah’s allocation of the Colorado River Basin.”
Interested in Learning More about the CO River?
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Lake Powell Pipeline

533 E. Waterworks Dr.
St. George, UT 84770

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