Monday, November 2, 2015

University economists challenge Lake Powell Pipeline payback proposal

In a letter sent Monday to Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leadership, a group of more than 20 economics professors from the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Utah State University signed off on an analysis that raises major concerns about the ability of southwest Utah residents to pay back the state for facilitating the construction costs of the pipeline. Water rates would need to jump by between 576 percent and 678 percent, along with increases in impact fees for new hookups and the sale of about 1,200 acres of land, they argue.

If Washington and Kane counties were to actually borrow the estimated $1.4 to $1.8 billion it will take to build the Lake Powell Pipeline, paying it back would become so expensive for local water users that there wouldn't even be any demand for the water, according to the group of economists requesting more analysis of the proposed project. The Spectrum