December 23, 2011--Colorado River District opposes Flaming Gorge pumpback proposal (Colorado Independent)

The Colorado River District is opposing a proposal to pump water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwest Wyoming through a pipeline to Colorado's Front Range. The River District filed a motion to intervene with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is reviewing the water diversion plan for its power-generating aspects. Fort Collins businessman Aaron Million is proposing a 560-mile-long pipeline, called the Regional Water Supply Project, to carry up to 250,000 acre feet of water. In its motion, the River District argues that the water diversion would hurt water users in the Colorado River Basin and could use up the remainder of the state's allocation of water under the Colorado River Compact of 1922. Although the water would be taken out of the Green River in Wyoming, it would still count against Colorado's limited ability to use the river to meet its total water obligations to downstream states. The River District's motion also calls the project “speculative,” and said demands for water on the Front Range are nowhere near the amount of water the pipeline would deliver. “Moreover, none of the projected water users have demonstrated the ability to pay for the enormous cost of the project,” the River District's motion states.

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