In late January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved all 23 study plans related to the Lake Powell Pipeline Project. The study plans describe how specific studies will be performed to evaluate potential effects the project may have on a wide range of resources including: air quality, geology and soils, fish and aquatic resources, water quality and availability, wildlife, cultural and ethnographic resources, climate change and others.

With the approval of the study plans, the project team can now begin conducting the studies identifying potential impacts the project may have and measures to mitigate the impacts. The study process will extend into 2010. Progress meetings for stakeholders and interested parties will be held for specific studies throughout 2009. The study reports will be submitted to FERC for review in January 2010. A study report meeting will be held in early February 2010.

“The approval of these study plans is an important milestone for this project and we are moving forward at full speed,” explained Eric Millis, Deputy Director of the Division of Water Resources.

FERC regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. Because the Lake Powell Pipeline Project would produce energy from the water that drops almost 3,000 feet along the pipeline route, FERC must review, approve and license the project. The power generated from this project would then be sold to help offset a portion of the pumping costs.

The Lake Powell Pipeline Project would consist of approximately 140 miles of large-diameter pipeline from Lake Powell to Sand Hollow Reservoir, approximately 35 miles of smaller diameter pipe, three booster pump stations from Quail Creek Reservoir to Cedar City, intake pumping facilities near Glen Canyon Dam, four booster-pumping stations along the alignment to help pump the water over the high points in the pipeline and hydroelectric generation facilities to capture the energy from the water as it flows toward the St. George area.

Once completed, the Lake Powell Pipeline Project would deliver 100,000 acre-feet of water annually from Lake Powell to three Utah water conservancy districts: the Kane County Water Conservancy District, the Washington County Water Conservancy District and Central Iron County Water Conservancy District. The project would be constructed and funded by the state of Utah through the Utah Board of Water Resources (Board).

The water conservancy districts would purchase the water from the board to reimburse the state of Utah. If you have additional questions, please call the toll-free telephone number 877-396-2633.