This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington County Water Conservancy District general manager Ronald Thompson's op-ed was titled "St. George deserves a pipeline" (Opinion, July 15). What we deserve is better leadership.

I've followed the Lake Powell Pipeline project for years. I'm still amazed at the spin put on the issue. We don't "deserve" the cost of this project, which has risen from $187 million in the mid-'90s to $1.8 billion-$3.2 billion in the state's 2012 report.

The district asserts it's not "for" the pipeline, just for more water, then it spends $50,000 on a film to convince people it's necessary.

Compare Washington County's 120 gallons a day per person residential use with Albuquerque's 89 gpcd. We use 112 gpcd for commercial, industrial and institutional, while Albuquerque uses 41 gpcd. Thompson will say we can't compare ourselves to other areas, but the district's 1995 Boyle report did exactly that. So, which is it? Can we or can't we?

Thompson will say our area is hotter, gets less rain — neither explains the great difference in numbers. He also says we have a lot of tourists who drive up our commercial/institutional numbers. But Las Vegas and Phoenix also get lots of tourists, and they still use far less.

Lisa Rutherford