The Kane County Water District, led by former Utah legislator Mike Noel, has withdrawn support for the Lake Powell Pipeline project. Now Washington County is the only county still supporting an unnecessary, environmentally damaging and astronomically expensive project meant to carry water 140 miles from Lake Powell to southwest Utah.
Kane County has never needed Lake Powell water. A Utah Division of Water Resources analysis found that the existing water supply will accommodate projected growth until at least 2060.
However, Mike Noel happens to own property in Kane County that would have become significantly more valuable if the pipeline were built. In 2018, The Utah Rivers Council asked Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to investigate an apparent conflict of interest regarding Noel’s official advocacy of a public project that would provide him significant personal benefit.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation is currently preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Lake Powell Pipeline that is due for release in June 2020.
Utah Rivers Council: utahrivers.org
This is an excerpt from our May EnviroNews column. View the full article here.