Lake Powell Pipeline Project

Lake Powell Pipeline Project

Project Description:  The Utah State Board of Water Resources, Department of Natural Resources, is proposing to build 120 miles of 66-inch diameter pipeline from the Lake Powell Glen Canyon dam site in Arizona to Sand Hollow Reservoir near St. George, UT, and 38 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline from Sand Hollow to Cedar City.  It is anticipated that much of the pipeline would be within the legislated utility corridor in Kane County that parallels highway US 89, and then would parallel I-15 to Iron County. One alternative proposes that the pipeline would dip south back into Arizona and transverse the Kaibab Band of the Paiute Tribe Reservation, as well as sensitive BLM lands within the Arizona Strip FO.

100,000 acre-feet of water would be removed yearly and transported to supply the Kane County (10,000 acre-feet), Washington County (70,000 acre-feet), and Central Iron County (20,000 acre-feet) Water Conservancy Districts.  The project would also include pumping stations along the pipeline, hydro-electric generating plants to recapture some of the power used from pumping the water uphill, and ancillary facilities including impoundment reservoirs, tunneling, electrical facilities and access roads.

The BOR administers the Colorado River Compact and allocations of associated water.  The pipeline would begin on lands managed by the NPS, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and then travel mostly through BLM Utah and Arizona managed lands including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Kanab FO, Cedar City FO, St. George FO and the Arizona Strip FO.  Three proposed hydro-electric power facilities would require Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) involvement and licensing.  The FERC has approved a preliminary permit for the State.  The State plans to submit a preliminary application document (PAD) in the near future for licensing. 

Lead and Cooperating Agencies:  WO designated BLM Utah as the Lead State for this project, which will be an EIS.  Project Lead is Joe Incardine, headquartered at the Utah State Office, as the National Project Manager for the EIS.  It is unclear at this time, however, whether BLM or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would be the lead Federal agency, with this issue being discussed at the headquarters level.  Other Federal agencies likely to be involved in this project as Cooperating Agencies include the National Park Service (NPS), US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Kaibab Paiute Tribe, and Army Corps of Engineers (COE).  The EIS may start as early as the summer of 2008.

Contacts:  Joe Incardine, WO Project Lead  801-524-3833

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