Flaming Gorge pipeline: The Casper Star-Tribune editorial board sounds off

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From the Casper Star-Tribune:

Seeking to blunt the fierce opposition from southwest Wyoming communities to the plan to carry water across Wyoming from the Green River Basin to Colorado’s Front Range, supporters of the pipeline have courted eastern Wyoming communities for support. It appears they’ve had some success: Cheyenne, Torrington and Laramie County have joined a coalition of public entities, most in Colorado, that has launched a two-year study of building a water pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir across southern Wyoming to the Front Range. A competing private pipeline project, pushed by Colorado entrepreneur Aaron Million, also has drawn some support from eastern Wyoming entities. But the pipeline backers’ political savvy doesn’t mask the fact that there are serious environmental and economic questions about the proposed transbasin pipeline. As we’ve said before, the potential damage to southwest Wyoming likely can’t be outweighed by benefits to other cities, and it’s difficult to see much benefit accruing to the state from any aspect of the project…

Even if it’s determined there would be little harm to Wyoming, the very idea of a transbasin water diversion raises a red flag. Natural watercourses have been dammed and diverted for many years across the West to benefit people, but hindsight has shown that environmental harm from some of those projects outweighs the benefits. Do we really want to risk further environmental degradation by shipping water across the Continental Divide?
If there’s not enough water to support the current rate of population growth along Colorado’s Front Range without importing it from elsewhere, perhaps development should be slowed. At the very least, it would be nice if Colorado kept its internal water worries to itself.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here. More Colorado Wyoming Cooperative Supply Project coverage here.

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