From the Craig Daily Press (Tom Ross):
So, if the Green River only flows through Moffat County for about 35 miles or so, why should people in Routt County concern themselves with the pipeline proposal? The decision to fund the first part of the study of the plan comes at a time when energy development is making more demands on Western Slope water. We’re seeing the beginnings of what could be a boom-let of oil wells here. And if those wells use fracturing techniques to pry the hydrocarbons out of the Niobrara shale, they’ll require large amount of precious water…
Heather Hansen, of Red Lodge Clearing House Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, zoomed in on the essential point in a recent essay published in High Country News.
Hansen pointed out that the Green River plays a major role in the obligation Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico have to deliver 7.5 million acre feet of water annually to the lower basin states of California, Nevada and Arizona under the 1922 Colorado River Compact.
The 250,000 acre-feet the Million proposal would subtract from the Green only puts more pressure on the Yampa, White, Eagle, Roaring Fork and Gunnison rivers to meet those obligations in a future that includes a growing Front Range of Colorado.