‘Less water doesn’t mean no water’ in Washington County even if Lake Powell Pipeline doesn’t happen

Residents will have to do more with less water, should the pipeline not get approved.

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) This April 30, 2011 photo shows Lake Powell in southeastern Utah. The fate of the Lake Powell Pipeline project is up in the air as the western United States continues to experience severe drought.

St. George • What could Washington County look like if the Lake Powell Pipeline project fails to be built?

It’s a question St. George News started asking local officials nearly four years ago. Since then the drought has increasingly worsened and Lake Powell’s water level has dipped to record lows.

Much has happened involving Lake Powell since 2018. In addition to the drought worsening, the pipeline project has seen the federal permitting process advance and then pause as neighboring states that share the Colorado River voiced their concerns. The Bureau of Reclamation also announced the first-ever shortage on the river, which since has resulted in water cuts to some of the Lower Colorado Basin states.

“The first thing is the community will have to make some tough choices,” said Brock Belnap, an associate general manager at the Washington County Water Conservancy District in relation to the county having less water.

To read more about the fate of the Lake Powell Pipeline, visit St. George News.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.