The Washington County Water Conservancy District – sounds like a big name and is a big part of our water system in southern Utah, right? Well, in some ways, that’s correct. However, if one digs deeper into their agenda, you’ll find A LOT of money being paid to them EVERY time a building permit is issued for a home. Not just $100, $1000 or even $2000 but over $6,000!! This doesn’t pay for your building permit fee. It doesn’t even pay for your water impact fee charged by the city where you’re building your home. No, this fee goes directly to the Washington County Water Conservancy District.
It’s a “not for profit” organization and according to their website, “Today, the district manages reservoirs, pipelines, wells, water storage tanks, treatment plants, hydro-power plants, diversion dams and more. The facilities are currently capable of producing more than 35 million gallons of water a day.
The majority of the district’s water is sold wholesale to its municipal customers including the cities of St. George, Washington, Hurricane, Santa Clara, Ivins, Toquerville, La Verkin and the town of Virgin.
Providing wholesale water to municipalities is the district’s central operation, but the district also manages small retail, secondary and wastewater systems.”
One of the concerns I have is the proposed “Lake Powell Pipeline”. If you’ve not heard of it, where have you been? This is a multi-billion dollar project to provide water from Lake Powell to the Washington County area. If anyone has driven from St. George to Lake Powell, its hard to fathom the route the pipeline would take from the lake to the St. George area. Can you imagine the hundreds of property owners between Lake Powell and Washington County that have to agree to have a pipeline go through their property? Besides the State of Utah, State of Arizona, BLM, Indian Reservation property, and other federally owned land, coupled with private property owners, how can this “PIPE DREAM” seriously become a reality?
We do have other means of water available to us in southern Utah that most of the public is not aware of and they have not been tapped into. However, the campaign scare from the Washington County Water Conservancy District shouting “we need more water” is an effective tactic that unfortunately the public must BUY into.
Here’s a thought……who oversees the Conservancy District? The management? The accounting? and why is their offices on 533 E. Waterworks Drive in St. George so HUGE and so EMPTY?? Who paid for that building? WE DID!! Why was it needed? Hmmmm……can’t say I know why.
The checks and balances between us as residents of Washington County and the Water Conservancy District does not exist. The City of St. George does not oversee the District, Washington County doesn’t either. They are their own business with the facade of a County department.
1,537 building permits were issued in 2015. Multiply that by $6,000 = $9,222,000 income in 2015 alone. Where is that money going?? Who is in charge? Why are we assuming??