The Dirt is a periodic publication of Conserve Southwest Utah. The purpose of The Dirt is to update our members on significant conservation issues we have not covered in our Bulletins for some time. This issue includes posts on the Lawsuit to Stop the Northern Corridor Highway Moves Forward, The Colorado River Authority: What  Are They Thinking?, When Will the Lake Powell Pipeline Reappear?, Water Conservation Suddenly In Vogue, and New Hope for Climate Change Action. We invite you to dig into The Dirt. 


The proposed Northern Corridor Highway would cut through precious habitat and protected public lands in the Red Cliffs NCA.

Lawsuit to Stop the Northern Corridor Highway Moves Forward

Legal action, while not our first choice is the only way to protect the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area from the Northern Corridor Highway (NCH). On June 4,  CSU announced that we filed a lawsuit in the Washington DC Federal District Court against the US Department of Interior (DOI) for the previous administration’s approval of the Northern Corridor Highway .Judge Amy Berman Jackson has been assigned to the case.

The Colorado River Authority of Utah: What Are They Thinking?

The title is not intended as a snarky line. It’s a valid question. What is Utah’s new water agency leadership and politicians thinking about Utah’s use of the Colorado River? This is particularly germane as April’s flow into Lake Powell was something like 27% of the 30-year average from 1981 to 2010. May’s flow was even less—about 21%.  So just what are they thinking?

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Lake Powell’s receding shores
Photo by Jud Burkett

Lake Powell Pipeline: When Will it Reappear?

We last reported on the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) in the November 20, 2020 Bulletin with the headline “Back to the Drawing Boards”. When are we likely to see this project reappear?

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Water Conservation: Suddenly in Vogue

It is gratifying to see that our elected officials at all levels are taking the current drought seriously by embracing water conservation. Governor Cox issued an Executive Order on water conservation that is mandatory for all state facilities and suggested for the state’s cities and residents. In Washington County, the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) took a significant step in requesting major water conservation measures be adopted by local governments. County government and most of the cities/towns have issued voluntary restrictions on outdoor watering to night/early morning hours. While this is a great step, the question is “will this be enough?” Probably not, but it could be a good start. Meanwhile the Washington County WCWCD is undertaking the required 5-year update of its water conservation plan. How is this progressing?

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A Ray of Hope on Controlling Climate Change

It is very likely that June 2021 in Southern Utah will be the warmest June in recorded history. Temperatures are averaging 10 degrees above normal (The Spectrum).  When the data is tallied, we will likely have 20 days which reach 100 degrees or higher, six of them 110 degrees or above ( The challenges of eliminating carbon emissions are starkly in front of us. Climate change is driving our water crisis and threatening our public lands, everywhere. The solution is in the hands of all citizens and governments.  It will take both.

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