‘Powell Pipeline’ study gets major support from Legislature

In this Sept. 11, 2019, file photo, is an aerial view of Lake Powell on the Colorado River along the Arizona-Utah border. A set of guidelines for managing the Colorado River helped several states through a dry spell, but it’s not enough to keep key reservoirs in the American West from plummeting amid persistent drought and climate change, according to a U.S. report released Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. /AP Photo/John Antczak, File

By Aaron Dorman | PinalCentral

A plan to transfer Mississippi floodwaters into the Colorado River system, once broad speculation, is now seen as a realistic proposal that Arizona state officials want to investigate.

Earlier this month, both chambers of the Arizona Legislature passed a bill asking for the federal government to conduct a feasibility study for the pipeline project.

Related: Arizona’s current historic drought may be ‘baseline for the future’

The pipeline project has been pushed locally by Casa Grande City Councilman Dick Powell, who said he was “thrilled to death” to hear the bill had gone through.

Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, described the bill as a “postcard to Congress” that would hopefully generate a discussion among the Colorado River Basin states and in Washington, D.C. The study stage of the pipeline has gotten bipartisan support within Arizona’s statehouse.

“Sometimes these things seem far out conceptually,” Shope said, “but until you explore them, you never seem to know what is possible.”


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