ON Kilter: Analyst or advocate; examining the Lake Powell Pipeline

OPINION – On Oct. 30, Citizens for Dixie’s Future, with the help of a generous grant from the international outdoor outfitter, Patagonia, will be hosting a water workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Entrada.

Read more: Local nonprofit teams up with Patagonia to host Water Workshop

You care about this. Here’s why:

The Washington County Water Conservancy District is hard at work seeing their crown jewel project, The Lake Powell Pipeline to fruition.

Last year they brought on an analyst from Applied Technologies in Las Vegas named Jeremy Aguero to assist them in garnering support for the project.

Aguero would tell you he was an analyst not an advocate, but anyone who attended an event where he spoke (I went to three) would be remiss not to notice his well-rehearsed presentation. I, for one, never heard him speak of the opposing side to the project let alone mention there was one.

How one can profess to be an analyst and not sincerely weigh pros and cons is indicative I think. He’s an advocate, folks. One might be curious to know how much he was paid by the WCWCD to affirm or put into question his professed analyst status. (Hint: It’s a lot of money).

The WCWCD, with the help of Aguero, seems to be content to give the community three viable solutions to the water situation in Washington County:

  1. The Lake Powell Pipeline
  2. The Lake Powell Pipeline
  3. It’s the end of the world as we know it if we don’t get the Lake Powell Pipeline

Perhaps we can help Aguero out a little here and provide some credible evidence of the adverse to his one sided analysis.

According to a press release from the Utah Rivers Council, a recent analysis reveals that water projections in Utah were inflated to increase spending.

Congressman Rob Bishop, speaking on Sept. 23, at the Fall Water Forum said:

A new analysis of 20 years of water projections demonstrates that Utah water planners have been exaggerating future water needs to misinform people into believing we are in a water crisis. The analysis raises serious doubts about claims Utah is running out of water and needs to spend billions on expensive water projects like $2 billion Lake Powell Pipeline and $2 billion Bear River development.

Utah water planners claim our growing population will require billions of dollars in new water projects and have hired lobbyists and marketing firms to make their case to Utah legislators. But these claims mirror past projections made in 1993, 1997, 2009 and 2010 by government water suppliers that did not come true. An analysis released today by the Utah Rivers Council reveals that every single one of these projections has been exaggerated to make the case for increased taxpayer spending on water.

Additionally, Utah Rivers Council Executive Director Zach Frankel said:

In 1993, Utah water suppliers took a page out of Chicken Little’s playbook to scare people into believing we were in a water crisis and Salt Lake County would run out of water in the next few years. That exaggeration was clearly wrong, but they’ve been inflating future water needs ever since.

The 1993 water prediction for Salt Lake County overestimated 2,025 water needs by a whopping 129,000 acre-feet of water – enough for a city of 600,000 people or more. In fact, this figure is roughly 45 percent higher than actual water needs because it is based on current estimates of water use.

Utah water suppliers ignore basic market economics of supply and demand in these projections,” Frankel said. “If private companies overestimated their commodity demands as badly as Utah’s government water suppliers have, they’d be out of business.”

This is why you must attend the Oct. 30 event. Your future as a taxpayer, homeowner, and citizen of Washington County requires that you be educated about what your elected and appointed officials are doing.

If in fact, the WCWCD are acting on the best behalf of Washington County, let them answer to you about these and other concerns about this project as well as others. They would be remiss not to attend this event and so would you. Lake Powell Pipeline or not, wise use of water should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, both residents and officials.

And by the way, if you have attended one of the WCWCD’s meetings on the Lake Powell Pipeline, and been frustrated that they seem somewhat averse to taking public questions or scrutiny, this may be an opportunity to get some answers from an unbiased expert – that is to say from an analyst, not an advocate.

For more information about this event and to RSVP go to www.citizensfordixie.org.

See you out there.

Related posts


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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  • Brian October 9, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Dallas, we can agree on this 100%. I dislike everything about the Lake Powell pipeline (and the WCWCD and its kingdom-building) and don’t think for a second its needed or in the best interest of the citizens / taxpayers of Washington County. Nothing about the local governments ~actions~ says “we’re in a water crisis”. Quite the opposite. So their motives are suspect right off the bat. The fact that they try to silence opposition and shut down any discussion is alarming. We need to learn to live within our means, and this applies to water as much as it does money. I suspect that like almost every other project going on in southern Utah (and everywhere else; it’s hardly unique to us), someone’s pockets are getting lined and that’s reason enough for them. I’m sick of it. Vote every incumbent out, and their appointees with them (I’m talking about you, Ron Thompson).

    • Bobber October 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Most of the time Brian is very reasonable, like here.

  • Brian Homerguy October 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Lake Powell is really a big settling pond. In a few years it will be completely full of silt. This pipeline seems like a poor investment.

  • Ricky MacGyver October 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Calm down folks, their gonna do it regardless of what you think or say. Too much money is on the line to let this boondoggle slip away. Just sit back, watch TV, have a beer, and pay your taxes.

  • Bobber October 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    The whole climate change thing really is gonna make water supplies unpredictable. it might even be an exponential effect rather than gradual, but i haven’t read into it. As far as the WCWCD they just want our $$$. They tell any lies to get it. What else is new…

  • JAR October 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    If there is to be, a true unbiased, Analysis Expert there going over the historical and current data and taking questions from the public, I’ll go and listen.
    Hopefully, there won’t be a salesman there saying i.e., ‘If You like your doctor’,etc.

  • skip2maloo October 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    There’s tons of potential for So Utah to become a major hub in the southwest and to, perhaps, fulfill its spiritual destiny. To grow and attract newcomers to the area, we need resources to ensure that they can stake their claim as the pioneers did when they arrived in this promising landscape. Vilifying the WCWCD and others who support the growth is counter to the idea of a true “kingdom” on earth. God bless Ron Thompson and others who would see fit to take on the unenviable task of persevering in this quest despite the ridicule of those who would seek to keep out future pioneers and servants of the Almighty’s divine mandate.

    • Bobber October 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      I sure hope you aren’t being serious… If ur not good work on the satire, but its more frightening than funny…

    • Chris October 9, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      “servants of the Almighty’s divine mandate” Are you serious? You are one sick individual. Religious delusions notwithstanding, the only true reason for supporting endless growth here is greed, plain and simple.

      • skip2maloo October 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

        Aren’t we all sick in the eyes of the Almighty. Might growth provide the opportunity for others to fulfill their dreams? Perhaps those of your ilk are the greedy ones.

        • Chris October 10, 2014 at 10:19 am

          Bringing “the eyes of the Almighty” into a discussion about growth is possibly the dumbest thing I have ever heard. We already have a “major hub in the southwest” 110 miles to the southwest of us. If you want St George to look like that in a few years with unfettered growth, then you have proven your idiocy. Skip along maloo, and try to find someone more deluded than yourself to preach your crap to.

          • skip2maloo October 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm

            Gee, that’s pretty harsh, Chris. Religion has nothing to do with decisions of where, how to live? Some might disagree. How much growth is too much growth? Enough for you and me and those already planted here? But how many more, if any? And how and who determines this? Us? ‘Cause “we got here first”?

        • Brian October 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

          It looks like BOBBER and KOOLAID finally had that baby they’d been trying so hard for. Just what the world needs, a baby troll…

          • Bobber October 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm

            Yea, skip2maloo is kind of like the misfit step child of the troll world…

    • mesaman October 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Skippy, you offer a personal opinion then base assumptions on that opinion. That means nothing but rhetorical chatter from someone whose ideas may or may not be reflecting the majority of those in the valley. Then to make your opinion seem more than a personal comment, you offer sanctity by hiding behind the power of the WCWCD director and claim the Almighty on your side. Ever consider that you might be just a tad wacko?

      • skip2maloo October 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

        Blah. Blah. Blah. I offer a divine “opinion”. And I hide only in the arms of that source.

  • Old Man October 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    International outdoor outfitter, Patagonia, sounds like Dallas Hyland has found his own advocate, I mean analyst.

    Patagonia, =We fund activists who take radical and strategic steps to protect habitat, oceans and waterways, wilderness and biodiversity. This is our niche: supporting people working on the frontlines of the environmental crisis.

  • Chris October 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Aguero was hired to make the case FOR the pipeline. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Moreover, Aguero’s analysis lacks rigor on many levels. The idea that he was intended to present an objective study of the issue is laughable. Death to the pipeline!

  • StGeoSenior October 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Will there really be any water left in Lake Powell by the time the pipeline has been completed? If not, I guess we could always convert the empty pipeline into some sort of amusement activity–like pipeline skate board races from Lake Powell to St. George; Huntsman Senior Games could bowl through the pipe and compete for the fastest transit times; Kids could yell in one end to their friends at the other end; Politician could yell in one end, but nothing but hot air would exit at the other end.

  • Mika October 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    If we’re in such a bad water situation why does St. George City water the roads around the cemetery? I can’t believe the amount of water sprayed onto the roads next to the cemetery in the evenings. There is also some curb and gutter on the Dixie State campus that is nice and green with moss because water is running down that gutter 24/7. Besides my crazy old neighbor, the local government entities are the worst wasters of water I have ever seen. How do we hold them accountable for this waste? Especially when they want to fork out 2 billion so they can waste more.

    • McMurphy October 11, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Not to mention the plans to build a water park in town.

  • Bobber October 10, 2014 at 11:46 am

    LOL, skip2maloo is a true wacko. You’re going on the list skip…

  • Old Man October 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Yea, We don’t need more water, we have ours. Maybe we should have blocked the I-15 thru the Gouge and blocked Utah Hill road then we would not have to worry about water. Yea should have done that the day before Dallas moved here from California. He could be looking at that big building blocking the beach.

    • Ron October 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      You nailed it, Old Man. It’s that big building blocking the beach–or, in this case, the view–that we’re trying to prevent. You want Las Vegas or Phoenix or L.A.? Is that your vision for St. George, you and Skip2maloo? Hmm, Skip talks of “pioneers,” and a “kingdom on earth.” I’m betting his vision of who we should recruit to drink all that Lake Powell water is a bit selective.

  • bishpoul October 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    We need to have the Attorney General investigate the Out of Control Washington county assessor’s office. They have become a police state all by themselves.

  • McMurphy October 11, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Another one of those cases of trying to figure out who to believe.
    If you want an absolute one-sided view of the situation believe the WCWCD. Their goal is to build the pipeline period. Opposing viewpoints not wanted, needed or listened to. Their only restraint is a board of directors who are Ron Thompson’s lap dogs. You can safely ignore Rob Bishop — a political hack of the worse sort. Where is the “new” analysis he speaks of? However, why should we believe the Utah Rivers Council is unbiased? Who will be the “unbiased” expert at the 30 Oct meeting??

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