The Board of Water Resources, under the Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act passed by the Utah State Legislature in 2006, is authorized to build the Lake Powell Pipeline to meet the water demands of southwestern Utah. The legislation authorizes a pipeline to take water from Lake Powell, and transport it to Washington, Kane and Iron counties.
The project consists of approximately 139 miles buried of 69-inch pipe from Lake Powell to Sand Hollow Reservoir near St. George, and 38 miles of 30-inch pipe Iron County. It also includes pumping facilities near Glen Canyon Dam with booster pumping stations along the pipeline alignment to provide the approximately 2,000 foot lift needed to carry the water over the high point in the pipeline. Hydroelectric generation facilities will be included to utilize the roughly 2,900 foot drop between the high point and the end of the pipeline. Power sales will be used to help offset pumping costs.
At full development the pipeline is expected to annually deliver up to 70,000 acre-feet (22.8 billion gallons) to Washington County Water Conservancy District, 10,000 acre-feet (3.26 billion gallons) to Kane County Water Conservancy District, and 20,000 acre-feet (6.52 billion gallons) to Central Iron County Water Conservancy District. The water diverted into the pipeline will be a portion of Utah’s Upper Colorado River Compact allocation, and will consist of water rights to be held or acquired by the three water districts and the Board of Water Resources.
The state will build the project and the districts will repay the costs through water sales.