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Colorado: No more money to study Flaming Gorge pipeline

green river

The Green River in Wyoming. Photo courtesy USGS.

Colorado Water Conservation Board ends funding for task force studying proposal to divert water from Wyoming to Front Range

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — An oft-discussed proposal to build a 500-mile pipeline from Wyoming’s Flaming Gorge Reservoir to the Colorado Front Range may have taken a body blow this week, as the Colorado Water Conservation Board voted to cut off funding for a task force studying the plan.

Front Range developer Aaron Million has been touting the giant project as a way to alleviate pressure on the mainstem of the Colorado River and deliver water where it’s needed most.

In several applications to federal regulators, Million also suggested the pipeline could generate power while shunting water to Colorado. There hasn’t been a huge amount of public support for the project, but Colorado water officials, anxious to consider all options, decided to at least take a preliminary look at the idea. Continue reading

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Water war brewing over Flaming Gorge pipeline plan

Colorado Water Conservation Board considers funding a study for project

New billboards seek to create awareness about a proposed water pipeline from Wyoming to the Colorado Front Range.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Environmental groups are making an early bid to try and stop a proposed water pipeline that would shunt water more than 500 miles from Wyoming to the Front Range of Colorado.

The conservation coalition this week unveiled three billboards in the Grand Junction area with a strong message against the proposed Flaming Gorge pipeline. The billboards question the wisdom of the controversial proposal that would drain 81 billion gallons of water each year from the West Slope’s Green River and ship it 560 miles over the Continental Divide to the Front Range.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board is meeting Sept. 13 in Grand Junction to decide whether to spend $150,000 in taxpayer dollars on a special task force to further study the feasibility of the project, projected to cost as much as $9 billion to construct. Continue reading

Colorado: Green groups rallying against proposed pipeline

The mouth of Sand Creek along the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

Teleconference town hall meeting on proposed diversion from the Green River in Wyoming draws thousands of participants

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A plan to divert water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming drew plenty of public attention last week when a coalition of environmental groups hosted a telephone town hall meeting for 7,400 Colorado residents.

The Flaming Gorge pipeline (sometimes called the Million pipeline) would divert 250,000 acre feet (81 billion gallons) of water from the Green River and pump it across dry Wyoming deserts and over the Continental Divide to the thirsty Front Range of Colorado, where some parts of the South Metro Denver face future water shortages.

By some estimates, the pipeline could cost up to $9 billion to build. More on the project costs in this audio clip.

Conservation groups last week also formally announced their opposition to the proposal, calling it a waste of resources and explaining that there are better ways — including conservation and re-use — to address the constantly growing demand for water. Continue reading

Colorado: Proponent of regional water pipeline seeks to switch permitting agencies to expedite review process

The proposed pipeline would carry water 560 miles from Wyoming to the Front Range. MAP COURTESY WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES. Click on the image to visit Western Resource Advocates online.

Aaron Million wants to build a pipeline to carry water from Wyoming to Front Range

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Planning for a pipeline project that could deliver Green River water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to the Colorado Front Range has been moving slowly, and now, Aaron Million, the project’s proponent, has said he wants to speed the process by switching the review and permitting process from the purview of the Army Corps of Engineers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Million has been touting the pipeline for many years , but it’s not clear if the project is viable financially, or if it could deliver as much water as promised. The Corps of Engineers project page is online here.

Several regional and state groups have taken early looks at the proposal, but as yet, nobody has stepped forth to fully claim and embrace the long-distance pipeline. According to one review by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, construction could cost $7.4 billion, with annual operating costs of $170 million. Continue reading

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