Water conservancy experts to discuss Lake Powell Pipeline at Dixie Forum

By Jyl Hall

Tom Butine

Representatives from the Washington County Water Conservancy District and Conserve Southwest Utah will discuss the pros and cons of the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline at the next installment of Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series Dixie Forum: A Window on the World.

Ronald Thompson, general manager of the water conservancy district, and Tom Butine, board president for Conserve Southwest Utah, will present their points of view on the proposed pipeline from noon to 12:50 p.m. on March 27. The lecture will take place in the Dunford Auditorium, located in the Browning Resource Center on the Dixie State campus. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Ronald Thompson

Part of the proposed long-term water supply plan for southern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, if implemented, will transport water from Lake Powell to Washington and Kane counties to accommodate the area’s growing population. The Dixie Forum presentation will discuss the need — or lack thereof — for the pipeline, the regulatory process for approval and construction, cost, residents’ input, conservation efforts, disputed facts and allocations.

Following their prepared presentations, the representatives of both perspectives will have the opportunity to respond to pre-submitted questions from the public. Residents interested in submitting questions may email their inquiries to burns@dixie.edu.

As the Washington County Water Conservancy District’s general manager, Thompson oversees all operational and financial activities performed by the WCWCD and its employees. He is a current member of the Utah State Bar and serves on the boards of the Utah Water Finance Agency, Colorado River Water Users Association, National Water Resources Association, Utah Water Development Commission, St. George Washington Canal Company and St. George Valley Irrigation Company. Thompson received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and his law degree from the University of Utah.

As a board member for the nonprofit Conserve Southwest Utah, Butine strives to use his love of nature, interest in environmental and energy policy, and background in science, engineering and management to make a difference in how residents treat the land, water and air. He earned an executive Master of Business Administration in finance and held several management positions in research and development, concentrating on the architecture of airplane systems, design integration and airplane safety certification.

Dixie Forum is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George and DSU communities to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation. The next installment of Dixie Forum will feature Taylor Jenkins Reid in collaboration with the DSU English department at noon on April 3 in the Dunford Auditorium.

For more information about Dixie State University’s Dixie Forum series, contact DSU Forum Coordinator John Burns at 435-879-4712 or burns@dixie.edu or visit humanities.dixie.edu/the-dixie-forum.