EDITORIAL: Using Lake Powell to keep lawns green in Utah would be a waste of resources

WaterNewsNetwork

Las Vegas Sun

The recent downgrade in the forecast for the flow of water in the Colorado River should be a death punch to the proposal to build a new pipeline out of Lake Powell. The pipeline was already a major threat to Las Vegas and much of the rest of the Southwest; now the threat risk is heading off the charts.

The proposal would drain 28 billion gallons of water per year from Lake Powell to St. George, Utah, and the surrounding area. That’s a huge amount of water — more than a quarter of what Nevada is allotted annually from Lake Mead (97.8 billion gallons).

One glance at the massive bathtub ring at Lake Mead shows the danger that Las Vegas and other communities downstream from Lake Powell would face in losing that 28 billion gallons of water.

And the situation is deteriorating. In mid-September, the Bureau of Reclamation unveiled its new forecast showing that inflows to Lake Powell would be just 55% of average. That was down significantly from the previous forecast, in April, which had placed the inflow at 75% of average.

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