Monthly Archives: August 2013

What if private individuals appointed to control the public water have built an empire in the Dixie desert of Utah?

What if sacred healing waters and ancient neutral lands to all the Natives were taken by an elite few of the unelected water board in the WCWCD.

What if it’s not about growth, but control?

Written by  on August 4, 2013 in ColumnistsOpinion

Welcome to the 2013 St. George election cycle. Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The recent animal shelter debacle notwithstanding, there looms on the horizon matters of consequence for this community that will require an informed and participatory citizen if there is to be any meaningful change in our city.

The main thrust of most campaigns here locally focuses on economic growth and jobs under a loosely-adhered-to banner of Vision Dixie

The main thrust of most campaigns here locally focuses on economic growth and jobs under a loosely-adhered-to banner of Vision Dixie and the infamous Lake Powell Pipeline.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District is hard at work spending copious amounts of your hard earned tax dollars on film production to promote the project, as well as other side projects like paying a self-professed analyst – who swears he is not an advocate – to pitch the pipeline at meetings at the WCWCD headquarters, the Utah State Legislature, and the Chamber of Commerce in St. George.

The Water Conservancy District is also buying up land like the Pah Tempe Hot Springs Resort to the tune of $1.5 million and have gone on record stating they do not know what they plan to do with the place. Curious position given they have spent years in litigation, protecting their rights and positioning for the acquisition, and likely spent tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees to finally get the land, only to state they have “no idea” at this time what they will do with it.

I’d keep an eye on that one …(more)

Letter to the Editor: Lake Powell Pipeline a ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ scam, a ‘pipe dream’

Written by  on August 2, 2013 in Letter to the EditorOpinion

 I’ve been following the Lake Powell Pipeline activity for over a decade now and have noticed a lot of inconsistencies over the years.  They have led to the following conclusion:

We the people of Washington County are being scammed by the “Good Ol’ Boys” to pay for this “pipe dream.”  They wish to continue to sell their land – which needs the water resources to sell at a tremendous profit.

1.  Over half of the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) trustees are tied to major land ownership, housing development, etc.  (Ever hear of “conflict of interest??”)

2.  The county commissioners hired a lawyer to head the Water Conservancy District rather than someone educated in water resources. This proved advantageous due to his ability to parse his words (like all good lawyers) to evade the truth and facts, and make his point with selective omissions of the actual facts. An example? His veiled truths about the cost of water before and after the pipeline–without considering the financing costs in his examples. With these costs included, the actual cost is four times the current (his reported) cost.

3.  The scare tactics used in the WCWCD articles – saying roads would crumble, house foundations would crack, and we would be left with a dust bowl … all if the pipeline wasn’t built!  (Sounds like socialist/communist propaganda.  Obama would be proud!  Think ObamaCare!)

4.  Paying copious amounts of pipeline money to hire a professional water system cost estimator from Washington State – Dr. Darryl Olsen – produced an excellent 113-page objective report in 2010 that was never publicized because he told the truth about cost-effectiveness and cost in 2010 dollars for two proposals; first, hydro storage — with a Hurricane storage reservoir @ $2.6 – $3.2 Billion; and second, non-hydro storage @ $1.8 – $2.3 Billion – NOT including financing! Hiring, then, a second water systems estimator from Las Vegas – Jeremy Aguero – whose recommendations echoed the GOB’s ideas of water needs – exactly. Aguero’s biased reports directly oppose those of Dr. Olsen. In my mind, Aguero was paid to fortify input from the GOB’s and WCWCD. Aguero said he received 1,500 pages of reports from the WCWCD. When I questioned Aguero directly, he said the 113-page report from Dr. Olsen was not included! Strange, huh?

With the WCWCD estimating a $950 Million price tag due to Iron County’s withdraw …

5. On June 8, 2008, I submitted an editorial to The Spectrumoutlining my estimate of the cost of the pipeline – which I estimated at $3.0 Billion in 2015 dollars – and this was verified by Dr. Olsen’s estimate. Printing of my article forced the WCWCD to re-evaluate the $585 Million cost (2005 estimate) to $1.1 Billion in 2008 dollars (my estimate for 2008 was $1.6 Billion). Since 2008, the $1.1 Billion has remained the same, when the smallest increase (from 2003 – 2005) was 8 percent per year. I know Cedar City/Iron County has wisely dropped out of the Tri-County agreement. And now, with the WCWCD estimating a $950 Million price tag due to Iron County’s withdraw … Where are the cost inflation increases since 2008? Plus, the pipeline new-start construction date has slipped from 2015 to 2020, and completion date from 2020 to 2030. Think about inflation!

6.  State Representative Mike Noel of Kane County (who is also executive director of the Kane County Water Conservancy District) presented heated support for the need for water and the Lake Powell Pipeline at the recent Governor’s town meeting on July 25th. But the truth is that the 4,000 residents of Kane County use over 400 gallons per person daily, just for culinary purposes — and the 10 percent water share from the pipeline will be sold by Kane County to a nuclear power plant for cooling – at a very handy profit for Kane County. His county’s water is not for growth, but for profit!

7.  At that same Governor’s Water Conservation Conference in St. George, about 40 people spoke at what was billed as a “conservation conference,” but in reality was a forum “for and against” the pipeline. Speakers were local mayors, county commissioners, WCWCD employees, city water employees, including Mike Noel from Kane County (all for the pipeline) and concerned citizens (mostly against the pipeline) – split almost evenly.

(Full Story Here)