Flaming Gorge pipeline: Size of diversion still up in the air

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Here’s an update on Aaron Million’s plans to move water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir and the Green River to Colorado’s Front Range, from Ben Neary writing for the Associated Press via The Durango Herald. From the article:

Million said he is re-evaluating what would be a reasonable size for the pipeline project. He said he doesn’t have a figure yet of how much water he may apply to take from the river if he reduces his application. Million hasn’t modified his original applications to divert water, still pending with the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a detailed environmental study of Million’s original proposal…

Million has said his planned pipeline would carry water more than 500 miles, east across Wyoming and then as far south as Pueblo. He has said that if the environmental review finds his project would harm the river ecosystem in ways that couldn’t be mitigated, he wouldn’t proceed…

Million said he wants to move all his planned water diversions downstream from the town of Green River. He said he’s now looking at a diversion point on the river below the town and another within Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Brett Johnson, attorney for Sweetwater County, said Friday that county commissioners as well as city officials in Green River and Rock Springs openly oppose Million’s project. “The county is certainly concerned on the effects of taking the water out of the river and the effect that that will have on the Flaming Gorge and the uses that we have here – obviously fishing and recreation,” Johnson said. Wyoming Gov. Dave Freud-enthal also has come out against the pipeline project. He has said he opposes trans-basin diversions of water and also believes Million should disclose exactly where the water would be used. The Corps of Engineers announced recently that it will require Million to identify his potential customers in coming months. Million has said he has talked to municipalities and other possible water customers in Wyom-ing and Colorado, but has declined to name them so far…

Million said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has determined that there’s a surplus of water in the Green River even after the needs of endangered species and other water uses are met. He said the analysis found that there’s a minimum of 165,000 acre-feet of water left over that would be available for the pipeline project.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

2 thoughts on “Flaming Gorge pipeline: Size of diversion still up in the air

  1. I wholeheartedly support “big idea” projects like this. Actually, I owuld be even more in support of a chain of reservoirs and pumps to transfer water from the Mississippi to the headwaters of the four major watersheds originating in Colorado.

    There would be tens of millions of beneficiaries downstream from these water diversion projects, and this concept, teamed with mass desalinzation plants on the three coasts, could provide hydration to millions of square miles of additional farmland.

    Enough of the environmental whackos who wet their kecks the moment a pebble is tossed in a stream. Human beings need food, and food comes from arable land. Arable land comes from watered soils, and if we can use a tiny percentage of a massive watershed’s resources to increase those of another one, it just makes sense to do so.

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