Task Force Says $5 Billion Needed for Utah Water Projects

Sept. 18, 2003

Utah legislators need to find at least $5.3 billion for projects to just stay even with expected growth in the next 20 years, according to the Water Funding Task Force.

The figures do not include four major projects to transport water from less populated areas to urban areas. Those projects - Bear River Development, Lake Powell Pipeline, Upper Green River Pipeline, and the Central Utah Project Lake System - would cost an additional $1.1 billion.

"These numbers are not pie in the sky," said Sen. Thomas Hatch, the co-chairman of the state Water Development Commission. "If anything, we may be there quicker than we think."

The report did not recommend ways to come up with the money. Task force member Warren Peterson said it was felt that that was the Legislature's job.

However, the report did recommend that the state keep its 1-16th cent sales tax for the water fund.

In 2002, the Legislature took $10 million from the water fund to shore up the state's budget.

Source: SGC