Lake Powell Pipeline Update

Setting the Record Straight on Washington County's Projected Water Rate Increases
Washington County’s water rates are projected to increase 51% from 2020 to 2045 – not 3,000% as reported by opponents of the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Today’s average water rate in Washington County is $2.64 per 1,000 gallons. By 2045, the rates are projected to rise to $3.98 per 1,000 gallons in today’s dollars.* That difference amounts to a 51% increase.

The increase will help cover the costs of all capital projects – including the pipeline – that are identified in the Washington County Water Conservancy District’s (district) current Impact Fee Facilities Plan .

The district’s funding strategy provides that impact fees on new construction will pay 75% of the new infrastructure costs. A combination of water rates and property tax will fund the balance. “This strategy keeps water rates reasonable and allows new growth to pay for new growth,” said Zach Renstrom, district general manager.

The strategy has been regularly shared in public meetings and vetted by the Executive Water Finance Board and Office of the Legislative Auditor General .

The district’s revenues will rise over the next three decades, but most of the increase will result from the county’s projected population growth and inflation rather than water rate increases. 

Two independent studies confirmed the Lake Powell Pipeline is economically feasible and affordable for Washington County residents: the  draft Environmental Impact Statement  and  legislative audit . The project is also deemed economical under the Environmental Protection Agency’s widely used affordability measure

*Expressed in constant 2020 dollars. The rate would be $6.54 per 1,000 gallons in 2045 if expressed in year-of-expenditure dollars. With an annual 2% inflation rate, the value of $6.54 in 2045 dollars is the equivalent of $3.98 in today’s 2020 dollars. The percent increase would be 148% over 25 years if reporting in year-of-expenditure dollars.

Lake Powell Pipeline Cost Estimate 
Included in Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Cost estimates for the Lake Powell Pipeline’s construction; interest during construction; present value of annual operation, maintenance, replacement and power; and estimated total project costs are reported in table 3.20-9 on page 242 of the  draft Environmental Impact Statement EIS   published on Monday, June 8, 2020. Costs are comparable to prior estimates.

Project cost estimates were not redacted by the Utah Division of Water Resources or any other agency, despite recent unfounded accusations.

Lake Powell Pipeline Virtual Public Meetings

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on the Draft EIS/Draft RMPA. There will be two virtual public meetings July 8 & 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm MDT each evening. The decision to hold virtual rather than in-person meetings was based on continuing public health concerns related to the global pandemic and a desire to facilitate maximum public participation without the need to limit attendees.

How to Participate in the
Lake Powell Pipeline Virtual Meetings:

Join the virtual meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone by
visiting the link corresponding to the meeting you would like to attend:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 6:00 pm MDT

Thursday, July 9, 2020 6:00 pm MDT

Dean Cox Letter to Editor: Benefits of LPP

Washington County Commissioner Dean Cox shares his thoughts on the Lake Powell Pipeline:

“Ensuring our community has an adequate water supply is one of the fundamental roles of local government and water providers. That is why the Washington County commissioners unanimously support the Lake Powell Pipeline. The LPP is the best alternative for meeting the water needs of our growing population.”

Copyright © 2020 LPP, All rights reserved.

Lake Powell Pipeline

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