U.S. regulators give Utah 60 days for pipeline cost estimate

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Federal regulators are asking Utah officials to show they’d be able to pay for a contentious proposed billion-dollar Lake Powell pipeline to draw water to southwestern Utah’s growing Washington County.

The state submitted its application for the project in March 2016 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has periodically asked for additional information. But the regulators request on Aug. 11 called for the state to provide a cost estimate and financing plan within 60 days.

Water managers believe the water would be needed sometime before 2030 to keep up with population growth and new development. The proposed line is a 140-mile (225-kilometer) project that would run from the reservoir to Washington and Kane counties.

Utah Division of Water Resources spokesman Joshua Palmer said he expects the state to respond within the 60-day timeframe but did not know what would be included in that response.