The #COWaterPlan, “…is emerging as a plan for more planning” — The Denver Post

From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

It looks like the ultimate water fix: Build a huge reservoir by Dinosaur National Monument and divert much of the Yampa River, then pump back 97 billion gallons a year through a 250-mile pipeline across the Continental Divide to Colorado’s increasingly thirsty Front Range.

This plan for the Yampa — one of the last free-flowing rivers in the overtapped Colorado River Basin — is designed to defray Colorado’s projected 2050 water shortfall of 163 billion gallons.

The Yampa Pumpback exemplifies the state’s traditional approach to enabling a growing population: Since the 1930s, Colorado has built at least 30 trans-mountain diversions using more than 100 miles of tunnels to move Pacific-bound water back eastward to where people are concentrated.

But the era of moving water across mountains may be over.

An impasse over trans-mountain projects such as the Yampa Pumpback remains the most difficult obstacle as Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration negotiates a Colorado Water Plan.

A second 479-page draft plan unveiled this week after 18 months — rather than drive action to meet needs — is emerging as a plan for more planning.

More Colorado Water Plan coverage here.

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