Flaming Gorge pipeline: Million Resources group details interest in project to Corps of Engineers

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From Westword (Joel Warner):

Many people believed Million didn’t have enough customers for his Regional Watershed Supply Project to satisfy the Corps, and even one of his consultants admitted in November he had only three or four users lined up. This week, however, Million got the last laugh when he submitted statements of interest from fifteen water users in Wyoming and Colorado. While these weren’t formal commitments to buy Million’s potential water, he believes they prove there’s more than enough demand to justify the pipeline. “We’re very pleased with the level of interest at this juncture,” says Million. “I would argue that probably from a historic perspective there’s never been a water project that’s had such a diverse and numerous list of potential end users.”[…]

“It was a great milestone for moving the project forward,” he says. Million adds there have been other promising developments too in his ambitious plan, which, if it gets the permits it needs, is still many years away from being able to break ground. Those include interest from the Department of Defense in the potential hydropower the pipeline could generate as the water running through it flows downhill, which could be used as part of a secure energy grid. Million says he’s also working to secure permits needed to take part of the pipeline’s water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming and address the vocal concerns communities around the reservoir have expressed about the project…

Still he can’t resist at least one reference to favorite outlaw Butch Cassidy and his famous sidekick: “Like the Sundance Kid said, ‘I’m better when I move.’ And we’re on the move.”

More coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District in northern El Paso County wants 3,000 acre-feet per year, according to a letter from President Benny Nasser. “The district obviously cannot commit to the project at the present time, nor can it commit future boards of directors to acquire water,” Nasser wrote…

T-Cross Ranches, owned by Robert and Steven Norris, indicated they are interested in negotiating with Million on a reservoir site included in the pipeline plan and for the purchase of up to 20,000 acre-feet of water.

Million is proposing a reservoir site on Williams Creek that is in the same location as a terminal storage reservoir envisioned for the Southern Delivery System, a plan by Colorado Springs, Security, Fountain and Pueblo West to build a pipeline from Pueblo Dam. Million’s proposed contract to the Norris family would lease the space in the reservoir at $3,000-$5,000 per acre-foot and could include the sale of the ground under any reservoir built at the site.

The El Paso County Water Authority did not commit to use Million’s Project, but indicated it is interested in exploring a regional vision task force to look at how water might be used. The El Paso County group, which includes most water users outside Colorado Springs in the county, wants to see how the water from Flaming Gorge could fit into addressing a 22,600 acre-foot gap in its future water supplies. El Paso County also wants to look at whether its plan to store groundwater in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek designated groundwater basin could be incorporated. Million said he is still talking to the El Paso County group and its members, but does not know if a vision process fits into his timeline…

In the South Platte Basin, several water districts indicated an interest in negotiating with Million for more than 200,000 acre-feet of water. Many are irrigation districts, which typically buy water for far less than municipalities. Their letters indicate that many areas are anticipating reduced supplies because of growth or pressure on existing sources.

More Flaming gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

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