Pipeline from the Mississippi River to Colorado?

Mississippi River Basin

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Hausler’s idea is to bring water from the Mississippi just below its confluence with the Ohio River across Missouri and Kansas into Colorado. The 800-mile system of pipelines, ditches and reservoirs would cost an estimated $23 billion and could provide 1 million acre-feet of water a year to Colorado. That’s just a little less than the total amount used by cities and more than enough to meet the projected municipal gap for the next 50 years.

He’s presented the idea to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable, state officials (including former Gov. Bill Ritter) and anyone else who will listen. And there’s the problem. They just listen. And maybe snicker a little. “The project is pretty dead right now,” said Hausler, a Gunnison rancher and mining engineer, in a telephone interview Monday. “I’ve gotten tired of beating my head against the wall. I think it’s silly and short-sighted, certainly parochial. Nobody in this state is really looking forward.” Hausler said the cost of construction and operation of a Mississippi River pipeline would be in line with the cost per acre-foot of proposed projects from the Colorado River…

The Mississippi River passes more than 240 million acre-feet annually at the proposed point of diversion, 30 miles south of Cairo, Ill. During the current flooding, more than 4 million acre-feet per day are flowing at that spot…

Hausler insisted the Mississippi River pipeline is a true regional solution that would not dry up any farmland or put any further stress on the Colorado River. “We need to ignore the arbitrary state lines drawn on a map in 1860s Washington and come up with a regional solution to water needs that will benefit the entire West including several Plains states,” Hausler said.

More pipeline from the Mississippi River coverage here.

14 thoughts on “Pipeline from the Mississippi River to Colorado?

  1. The proposal makes very good sense, considering the drought situation in the southwest at present. We as America, could certainly benefit from such a project. It could satisfy the needs of millions of Americans during years where flooding is more likely and drought grips the farming communities. It would create jobs and stability in many areas. Seems like a workable idea for many, rather than concentrating tax dollars on a bullet train that only provides the convenience of speed, but no solutions for sustainability.

    • Camman,

      Thanks for commenting. Ms. Mulroy’s plan has significant water quality concerns. I believe it will be hard or impossible for her to get the major Front Range west slope diverters to send their water down to the Lower Colorado River in exchange for water from east of the Colorado-Kansas border.

      Maybe we’ll see a reverse-Flaming Gorge pipeline?

      John Orr

  2. I live in Las Vegas nv I moved from alton illinois which gets flooded yearly why cant hauslers idea be taken seriously to prevent flooding and service other short watered states west of the Mississippi. Roni P Mclemore

    • Cost, water rights, rights of way, and too many states and entities for governance. What would the water cost? Agriculture can’t pay much for water and they are the biggest users. Drying up Ag is much more economical for cities.

      • I agree. The legacy from colonial thieves is apparent in shareholders of the Salt River Project and other flood irrigation districts in Arizona, they pay pennies to flood their almonds and cows in the middle of the Sonoran. Growing ammonds and stuff in circles is not right when there is no water and no real competitive advantage once you account for the fact that it takes 2000 gallons of water to make a pound of ammonds we ship to china. give me a break. we send them our alfafa too just stop it.

      • The right to divert is a private property right administered by the states. It would take legislation to tell farmers what they can do with their property right and I don’t see the political will to tackle any environmental question.

        Thanks for commenting.

        John Orr

  3. I believe there’s an even bigger idea that can solve the challenges, pay for itself over time and create sustainable jobs for millions. Imagine an inland water way that goes from the mouth of the Gulf in Louisiana West to the Colorado river. Sure there will be some disrupt with some private homes being challenged. But we can work around almost all of that by using a creative water path. But you make this water way 50 feet deep and 300 feet wide and you’ll have boating and recreation, you’ll have real estate development, both commercial and residential. John Lennon taught us to imagine. So imagine …

  4. This should be the Big Green Deal that the Democrats want so bad.Yes l would love to be the man ,that makes this Happen.Common sense They need water out ,we need water in.

  5. We built the Hoover Dam, we built an amazing interstate highway system, we landed on the moon. The logistics for each of these endeavors were equally complex and the costs were high. $23 Billion dollars is equal to $70 for each person in this country. If it takes 5 years to complete that would be a cost of $14 per year per person. That is about 5 cents per day per person. Is bringing much needed water to the desert southwest really worth 5 cents per day? I can’t imagine anyone saying no to that question. We need a mechanism to take this to the people instead of the politicians. I know there is a way. Let me know how I can help.

    • Earl,
      First, make sure that you throw out all the business as usual politicians that you can, from local government on up. Organize and support those that want the U.S. to get serious about the climate crisis. Call out leaders in business and government when they are lying or mistaken about climate change. We are rapidly losing a stable climate because we are messing with the water cycle. Only governments around the world can solve the climate puzzle. We have the pieces needed but someone has to put them in place.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

Leave a Reply