Flaming Gorge pipeline: Aaron Million — ‘I have tried and tried to get the state more involved’

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If you ask me I’d bet that most at the state prefer not to pick a winner when he’s hoping to run a for profit operation in the middle between water users and water supply. There will only be one last large transmountain diversion to the Front Range. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

“I think the Interbasin Compact Committee needs to evaluate and perhaps use a third party to look at the three projects that are out there,” Million said. He includes Flaming Gorge, Blue Mesa and Yampa pump-back projects that were included in a preliminary report by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. “Then they ought to make a recommendation to the governor, and the governor ought to promote it,” Million said. While there are others interested in the project, Million said the public-private model is the best way to get the job done. Private construction of the pipeline could save the state 30 to 50 percent on costs, and Colorado and the federal governments are already struggling with huge fiscal problems…

He ticked off benefits to the state:

– Flaming Gorge Reservoir would provide 3.8 million acre-feet of storage that is already constructed.

– “It takes pressure off the Colorado River basin so they can develop their water resources as they see fit.” The state also could look at ways to include Western Slope benefits such as those included in the proposed Colorado River Cooperative Agreement.

– It would provide a new source of water and reduce pressure on agricultural water rights in the South Platte and Arkansas River basins.

– Million also wants to provide either direct or return flows for environmental purposes.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

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