Scoping Issues for the Lake Powell Pipeline EIS
Analyse these issues in the Lake Powell Pipeline EIS:
- Include a “conservation” alternative to the EIS that would reduce the demand for water through a number of conservation methods. Western Resource Advocates’ “Local Waters Alternative,” is a comprehensive approach to provide a flexible and cost effective pathway for Washington County to meet its water needs through the year to 2060.Water conservation is the key component of this alternative, when combined with increased reuse for landscaping, agricultural water transfers among other measures. Also, include an analyse of treatment of our abundant ground water, and storm water capture. These measures would result in a more sustainable water supply for the future. This is a reasonable alternative that is practical and feasible from the technical and economic standpoint using common sense measures. It is a better solution than the LPP’s water supply that is vulnerable to raising temperatures with less stream flows, political conflict, controversy and uncertainty.
- Evaluate the costs and yields of major conservation methods such as: tiered water use rates, weighting water revenue sources toward usage rates, building codes requiring water-wise landscaping, incentives to convert existing properties to water-wise landscaping, use of secondary water instead of culinary water for landscape irrigation (requiring this change in all new developments), etc.
- Include updated information: the recommendations in the state audit of the state’s projections of water needs, the more recent lowered population projections, the recent Department Water Resource study of higher conservation potential, and consider all water supplies in Kane and Washington County.
- Determine the high-probability of the long-term Colorado River flow for the LPP under a range of future climate conditions. Also, include the data on at what Lake Powell reservoir water levels can Utah Board Water Resources’s(UBWR) continue to draw from the remaining water left in Lake Powell reservoir. Include in the analysis the risk of disruption to water for LPP due to the Lake Powell reservoir dropping below the power pool evaluation in Lake Powell. In addition, include an analysis of LPP’s water right junior water right status including the possibility of disruption of diverting water to the Lake Powell Pipeline as water levels drop in Lake Powell reservoir and who has senior rights to the remaining water.
- Determine how the specific LPP costs will be paid back to the state that also includes the tax burden on residents. The Truth in Lending Act of 1968 is a United States federal law designed to promote the informed use of consumer credit, by requiring disclosures about its terms and cost to standardize the manner in which costs associated with borrowing are calculated and disclosed and should be considered in the disclosure to the public in this EIS.
- Reclamation should also consider analyzing in the EIS the following:
· i. What portion of the payment would be allocated to the 3 revenue sources (property taxes, impact/connection fees, water use rates.
· ii. The risk of water rates going up so high residents use less water and thereby the state can’t pay the debt of the LPP .as planned.
· iii. Interest rates and accumulated totals over the duration of the loan
· iv. The impact of the payment methods on water use, and the impact of that on the water supply requirements
· v. The risk of disruption that UBWR can’t divert any water out of Lake Powell reservoir and therefore the state doesn’t have water to sell to pay for the debt.
· vi. The risk to state bonding levels being stretched by the LPP debt and then the state doesn’t have bond funding for other important state needs.
- Require UBWR to complete a study that confirms their claims regarding the LPP’s water is highly secure for the long-term.
- Evaluate for sufficiency the concept and plan for providing water for the LPP if senior water rights use all of Utah’s recalculated Colorado River allocation that considers the high probability of long-term Colorado River declining flows.
- Provide the clear and concise evidence on water rights that verifies that Reclamation has physical water to sell to UBWR in its water exchange contract for the LPP. In addition, provide the water rights data that verifies UBWR has unused water in the Green River tributaries to exchange with Reclamation for the LPP. Also, include an analysis of what laws allow Reclamation to approve a water contract that moves water from the Colorado River’s Upper Basin for use in the Lower Basin. This is not allowed in the Colorado River 1922 Compact.
- It has been a decade or more since some of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) studies were completed. This affects their reliability and the credibility to be used in the EIS. If the FERC studies are to be used in this EIS, verify all previously submitted comments have been property dispositioned and that the FERC Study reports have been updated appropriately
- A study on costs over the long term of the risk of the possible infestation of quagga mussels into our regional pipeline from the LPP that is connected to many cities water infrastructure. The health hazard of putting chemicals in the water at every pump station along the pipeline. The concern that filters do not work as there is a very early life stage of mussels that is microscopic and can pass through current filters. In addition, the risk of infesting the Virgin River.