Drought threatens Colorado River, Utah plans to divert more water to wasteful county

As a drought threatens water supplies in the Colorado River Basin, Utah plans to build the Lake Powell Pipeline that will divert extra water to the state. (File photo: MGN)

(KUTV) - As a drought threatens water supplies in the Colorado River Basin, Utah plans to build the Lake Powell Pipeline that will divert extra water its most wasteful county.

Per capita, upstream states like Utah, Colorado and Wyoming increased residential water use by 7 percent between 2010 and 2015.

But, water use has declined by 14 percent in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico over the same period.

"As lower basin cities make plans to walk away from their water, Utah is aiming to make things worse by diverting additional water they don't need," Taylor-Graham, Water and Environmental Journalist at the Utah Rivers Council, said in a news release.

The Lake Powell Pipeline is 140-miles-long. It will divert 86,000 acre-feet of water annually uphill to Washington County.

According to the pipeline's federal project application, residents in the county use 325 gallons per capita a day.

"Utah's failure to reduce water waste while planning new, destructive diversions flies in the face of the collective progress made in the Colorado River Basin," Graham said in a news release.


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