Add one more thing to the Utah Rivers Council’s list of “10 Reasons why the Lake Powell Pipeline Isn’t Needed”—the pipeline is likely to spread invasive quagga mussels into other waters. Quagga mussels filter plankton from fresh water, causing a collapse of the food web for other aquatic animals. Their shells plug up water pipes and damage boat motors. In 2014, the Utah Division of Water Resources estimated that a statewide infestation of quagga mussels would cost taxpayers over $21 million per year for maintenance and mitigation.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Utah must submit a quagga mussel control plan by July 13.