SPANISH FORK, Utah (ABC4) – Sen. Mitt Romney joined state and local officials to highlight future improvements for Central Utah as part of a billion-dollar infrastructure bill on Saturday.
The Central Utah Project Completion Act Allocates $50 million in funding that will provide greater water supply for municipal and recreational use throughout the state.
The project is part of a $3 billion infrastructure bill passed by the House on November 8, aimed at mending and improving Utah roads and highways. The bipartisan bill, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, was authored by Romney and his colleagues.
“All of us are responsible for serving the people of our state and our community—and our state is growing,” says Romney. “It’s essential that we have the water that we have the rights to and that we use the water in a way that’s appropriate and responsible. We needed more water for Salt Lake County and for Utah County and this project, the Central Utah Water Project, allows us to get more water.”
Utah’s current limited water supply will now be expanded by bringing in more water from the Colorado River to the populations of Salt Lake and Utah Counties. Officials say over 60% of the drinking water in Salt Lake County currently comes from the Colorado River. The new funds will allow a quicker completion of a pipeline system in southern Utah to divert more water inland.
Once completed, officials say the pipeline will provide water for 100,000 people in South Utah County. The funds will also provide help with fish, wildlife, recreation and support of endangered species in the area.
“You guys are my boss—those who are citizens of Utah—you tell me what I should do and I was told loud and clear: we need to make sure we get the funding to get this water,” says Romney. “I’m very, very pleased that the infrastructure projects—hard, physical infrastructure projects—that are part of this legislation—that are the entire part of this legislation—are going to help Utah maintain the kind of vitality and good quality of life that we have long-enjoyed and provide a place where our kids, and their kids, will be happy to raise their families.”
“The funds dedicated to water will help complete the Central Utah Project, bring safe, clean drinking water to the Utah Navajo Nation people, as well as [complete] critical upgrades to drinking water systems throughout the state,” says Todd Adams, Deputy Director, Utah Division of Natural Resources. “These funds will benefit Utahns for many generations.”