The Burdensome Economics of the Lake Powell Pipeline

Date: Mar 11, 2020
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: , Humanities 1500


The second installment of the Water Seminar Series for Winter 2020, co-presented by the UCR School of Public Policy and the UCR Library.

About this Event

The Burdensome Economics of the Lake Powell Pipeline: A New Pipeline from the Archaic Past

Zachary Frankel, Executive Director, Utah Rivers Council.

Parking: TBD


The proposed Lake Powell Pipeline is the largest new water diversion being proposed in the Colorado River Basin that will have reverberations across the water supply of three states. The $3 billion Pipeline will divert water across 140 miles of Southwestern desert to provide municipal water to America's most wasteful urban water users in Washington County, Utah. These residents use 2-3 times as much water (per person) as Southern California residents while paying just one-tenth the price for water that most L.A. residents pay. An array of inexpensive alternatives to provide water for this Utah community are being ignored because the Pipeline's real purpose is to keep residents in California, Nevada and Arizona on a water diet, as project proponents acknowledge. The seminar explores the perverse economics of the Lake Powell Pipeline and Utah's defiant ignorance from climate change's impacts in the Colorado River Basin.


Zachary Frankel is the founder and Executive Director of the Utah Rivers Council. Zach started the organization in 1995 after he received his B.S. in Biology at the University of Utah in biochemistry and genetics. Zach has been working on water education and conservation across the American West for over 25 years. He successfully led a campaign to stop a 257 foot high proposed dam on the Diamond Fork River in 1997 and authored Utah’s first water conservation law, the Utah Water Conservation Plan Act, which was passed in 1998 by the Utah State Legislature. Zach also wrote legislation passed by the Utah Legislature in 2002 that amended the Bear River Development Act by removing two proposed dams from being constructed on the Bear River. Zach is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys paddling, hiking, backcountry skiing, and cycling.