Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lake Powell Pipeline gets preliminary permit

FERC has issued a preliminary permit for the Lake Powell Pipeline. " The proposed project would consist of: (1) building and operating 139 miles of 69-inch-diameter pipeline and penstock, 35 miles of 48- to 30-inch-diameter pipeline, and six miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline; (2) a combined conventional peaking and pumped storage hydro station; (3) five conventional in-pipeline hydro stations; and (4) transmission lines. The proposed project would be located on federal, state, and private lands in Kane, Washington, and Iron counties, Utah, and in Coconino and Mohave counties, Arizona." [right, pipeline map. Credit, FERC]

BLM reports that "100,000 acre-feet of water would be removed yearly and transported to supply the Kane County (10,000 acre-feet), Washington County (70,000 acre-feet), and Central Iron County (20,000 acre-feet) Water Conservancy Districts [Utah]. The project would also include pumping stations along the pipeline, hydro-electric generating plants to recapture some of the power used from pumping the water uphill, and ancillary facilities including impoundment reservoirs, tunneling, electrical facilities and access roads."

The project cost has risen to an estimated $1.5 billion but opponents claim it could rise to $6 billion.

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