A large coalition of 20 conservation groups in Coloradois opposing the “Flaming Gorge Pipeline,” a proposed water project that would divert 250,000 acre-feet of water each year from the Green River (the chief tributary to the Colorado River) near Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Southwestern Wyoming. The Pipeline proposes to pipe and pump the water 560 miles up and over the Continental Divide and down to the Front Range of Colorado for future population growth. The coalition created an online petition and is asking the public to sign on.
The proposed Flaming Gorge Pipeline:
- Would be exorbitantly expensive, costing up to $9 billion and up to $30,000/acre-foot, the most expensive water in Colorado history.
- Would irrevocably harm the Green River in Wyoming and Colorado, and the Colorado River downstream, negatively impacting the environment, the fishery, and the recreational economy from Flaming Gorge Reservoir all the way through the Grand Canyon and downstream to Mexico. The Pipeline would drain an average of 20%-25% of the Green River’s flow each year.
- Would negatively impact many existing water users — because the Colorado River is already drained dry before it reaches the Sea of Cortez, some current users of Colorado River water would be negatively impacted including potentially farmers in Western Colorado and municipal and agricultural users throughout the Southwest U.S. including in Southern California.
- Could potentially trigger a “compact call” and thus a water war between the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basin states. If this compact call is successful, Front Range water users in Colorado could also see a curtailment in their water supplies. The coalition believes that public money from the citizens of Colorado should not be used to support projects that are intensely controversial and divisive like the Flaming Gorge Pipeline.
Better alternatives exist to meet Colorado’s future water supply needs including aggressive water conservation, better land-use planning and growth management, water re-use and recycling, and cooperative water-sharing agreements with farmers.
The petition will close on Sept. 9th. The vote by the Colorado Water Conservation Board — on whether to fund a study for the Pipeline — is on Sept. 13/14. Read more about it on the petition website. Sign soon! Please share with your friends!