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Private Company Wants to Pipe WYO Water Out of State

July 24, 2009

Cheyenne, WY - Colorado's Front Range is thirsty, and a private water company is proposing a solution: pipe in water from Wyoming. The Regional Watershed Supply Project would take 250,000 acre-feet of water out of the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir each year, and the company designing the project claims it's spare water.

Melanie Stein, associate regional representative for the Sierra Club in Wyoming, says there are questions about whether that is true; questions about whether taking water would infringe on senior water rights, and a long list of other questions.

"Pumping massive amounts of water over the Continental Divide is no small task. How much energy will it take? Where will this energy come from? What effects will this project have on fish and wildlife in Wyoming and Utah?"

Stein agrees the Front Range needs water, but believes the problem could be solved in another way.

"Instead of seeking the quick fix by grabbing water from another state, municipalities in Colorado should take a hard look at their development patterns, and their water consumption, and they should be focusing on smart growth and water conservation."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is starting the process to decide whether the pipeline is a go, and Wyomingites can have a say. Public comments are being gathered by email until Monday at MCRG.EIS@usace.army.mil.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY