(KCPW News) Critics of a proposed Washington County water pipeline say state officials wouldn’t hear them out during a Water Issues Task Force meeting Tuesday. They say the Lake Powell pipeline is wasteful, and financing the project would be a dangerous prospect for Utah taxpayers. Christi Biniaz of Citizens for Dixie’s Future notes that according to the treasurer’s office, if the state issued bonds to pay for the $2 billion project, it would jeopardize its AAA bond rating.
“Given fiscally conservative Utah, it’s hard for me to understand why so many of these leaders are pushing for a project that is just another layer of government and an additional tax,” she says. “It’s a big government project and it’s unnecessary. We’re not really clear why the water board in Utah would want to push for something like this.”
Biniaz adds that it would be equally devastating if financed through sales taxes.
She also says that Southern Utah simply doesn’t need the water.
“Washington County is one of the highest water users in the country. If we could just reduce our use to levels of similar communities and climates in the west, we would be able to completely eliminate the need for a $2 billion government project,” she says.
Water managers have said Washington County will start running short on water around 2020 with current supplies. The St. George area has seen some of the most rapid population growth in the state.