A delegation met with politicians from Utah and officials from the governor’s office to discuss the possibility of building a pipeline from the Pacific to the Great Salt Lake. A two-day meeting was conducted by International Water Holdings to go through water-related issues affecting the Great Salt Lake and the Great Basin. The conference, which was conducted last week at the Salt Palace, was partially covered by FOX 13 News. According to International Water Holdings President Todd Peterson, Utah has a fantastic potential to participate in that process.
Due to decreased snowpack, toxic dust storms, and effects on the wildlife and business that depend on it, the Great Salt Lake is at its lowest level in recorded history and is causing an economic and environmental disaster for the state. Due to water diversion, the continuing mega-drought in Utah, and climate change, the lake has been decreasing. State officials have stated that they are prepared to investigate all alternatives in an effort to save as the result.
The pipeline that International Water Holdings is recommending would go from the Pacific Ocean to the Great Salt Lake. A proposed route from Tres Mares in Mexico, via San Diego, and up through southern Utah, avoiding the Sierra-Nevada mountains and riding on existing freeways or other infrastructure, according to Nathan White, CEO of Agess, Inc. and a member of the group’s board, could be considered.
“This is much more likely than most people realize. Simply put, we’re having trouble comprehending it, according to Peterson. Peterson stated that he had never worked on a pipeline project like this before, but he was collaborating with experts in the field. When asked if taxpayer money would be needed for this, Peterson responded that his organization was seeking private funding and that they thought a project like this might ultimately be lucrative.
He said, “We’ve spoken to financiers who are happy to finance the entire pipeline. Peterson recognized the possibility of a multi-billion dollar price tag when asked how much it might cost. “Honestly? On the pipes, we’ve gotten quotes. You know, this would certainly be the biggest project in the United States, the first bidder remarked. He returned the following day and admitted, “I misspoke.
It’s most likely going to be the largest project ever,'” he declared. But that heals everything, you know. The meetings were attended by three Utah State Legislature members. Sen. David Hinkins, a Republican from Orangeville, expressed interest in the concept to FOX 13 News. He remarked, “This has been done in other nations to pump water from the ocean inland. “We can use salt water for a lot of things that we don’t currently do,”
Sen. Hinkins’ response, when asked if this would help save the Great Salt Lake, was, “I don’t know. It is a solution, or perhaps a component of one. Upon welcoming the delegation to Salt Lake City, Mike Mower, a senior advisor to Governor Spencer Cox, listened to some of the presentations on water challenges and how a pipeline would be helpful. He warned that while they were open to considering all possibilities, they were not endorsing any specific concept.
In light of the water-related difficulties our state is currently experiencing, he said, “it’s crucial to not just conserve but also look for additional ways we may enhance water in Utah.” Although no final decisions have been taken, we must consider all possibilities because of how important what is happening at the Great Salt Lake is. To discuss the problems with water in the West, International Water Holdings is engaging with people in other states.
The group’s board will be in Arizona next month after recently visiting Nevada to discuss Lake Mead. The Water Development Commission of the Utah State Legislature requested a feasibility study on a pipeline to the Great Salt Lake, according to FOX 13 News’ initial story from May. In his most recent Great Salt Lake measure, Utah Senator Mitt Romney also considered the viability of a pipeline.
Even if the project is privately funded, the state of Utah would certainly be heavily involved in permits, regulatory concerns, and some government monies that may ultimately need to be used. A pipeline project would be so expensive that it would not be practical, according to Sarah Null, an associate professor of watershed sciences at Utah State University in Logan, who was speaking to FOX 13 News.
A comparable pipeline has been planned, so let’s use the Salton Sea as an example, she remarked. The cheapest one I found at the Salton Sea, which is 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean, cost $10 billion, while the most costly one there costs about $49 billion. The distance to the Great Salt Lake depends on the route we followed and is more like 600 or 700 kilometers. According to Null, costs would increase due to salination processes and the energy expenditures brought on by elevation gains. She said that state authorities should first weigh their other possibilities.
“For instance, we ought to save water and ensure that it reaches the Great Salt Lake. We may be keeping an eye on wastewater treatment and ensuring that treated water is delivered to the Great Salt Lake, according to Null. “We ought to probably rule out building new dams. In order to reallocate water, we should consider water banking and possibly develop incentives for it. To improve the environment, we ought to consider the public trust doctrine.
A grower from the Pueblo Isleta Tribe named Janice Lucero traveled from New Mexico to attend the presentation by International Water Holdings. She stated that she was interested in learning more about the concept but was also concerned about potential long-term environmental effects. “If a crack appeared in those pipelines. What impact does that have on the current situation?
The soil, I assume? What kind of implications are those? How safe are these pipes, and what are the consequences once more? What does it cost the populace? What will it cost the neighborhood? She said, “Are they going to be funded by the states? Peterson stated that he appreciated the queries. We’re attempting to involve as many individuals as possible, he declared. “Because we don’t think that one metro in one location, doing it all by themselves, can cure this.”