Interbasin Compact Committee: Can the IBCC help the Front Range tap into the proposed Flaming Gorge Pipeline?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Flaming Gorge pipeline project, a proposal by Fort Collins entrepreneur Aaron Million that also is being examined by a coalition of water providers in Colorado and Wyoming, may provide a test of the decision-making capabilities of the IBCC. “The whole IBCC process is about bringing people together,” Stulp said. “The IBCC helps people understand the larger picture.”

In the case of Flaming Gorge, the larger picture includes the South Metro Water Supply Authority, a consortium of 13 of the thirstiest water providers in the growing area who are looking for ways to supplement a dwindling supply of groundwater from the Denver Basin aquifers. The aquifers make up a closed system that is not replenished as fast as it is being pumped…

“Any project, whether it’s Flaming Gorge or something else, has to be good for the whole state,” Stulp said. “That doesn’t mean everyone has to be happy. I think the IBCC can look at it from that wide perspective.” The CWCB is looking at forming a Flaming Gorge task force, which would provide the same sort of away-from-the-table setting that led to the Denver Water-Colorado River agreement. The IBCC still would be a place where ideas could be exchanged and concerns brought to light, Stulp said. The unique aspect of Flaming Gorge, from Stulp’s perspective, is that it brings more water into the state that could not be used anywhere else because of how the Green River flows into and out of the state…

“It’s kind of like bringing in an outside company for economic development,” Stulp said. “You bring new water in without hurting what’s already here.” At the same time, Stulp does not rush into a position where Flaming Gorge would be the only solution. He approves of the IBCC’s approach to consider conservation, alternative agricultural transfers, improvement of yield from identified projects and potentially even other transmountain projects.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

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