Sunday, April 26, 2009

Colorado's got a fever for Wyoming's water

Some guy named Million wants to suck millions of gallons of Green River water from Wyoming to water lawns in Colorado.

No kidding, this water entrepreneur's name is Aaron Million and he came up with this keen idea in grad school to relieve Wyoming of its water.

That's not sitting too well with Wyomingites, especially those in the southwest part of the state.

Great column on the subject by Walt Gasson in today's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. He's a Sweetwater County native and the head of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

Lots of people fish in the Green River. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green is one of the best recreation areas of the state.

According to Gasson, Million's plan to send Green River water via pipeline to the Front Range. This would draw about a quarter of the area's available water -- it's already one of the driest parts of the country. And it's not only a pipline that needs to be built. The plan calls for construction of 16 natural gas fired pumping stations and several reservoirs.

Notes Gasson: "There is no law in Wyoming that requires Mr. Million to use any Million dollars to leave a minimum flow in the Green River."

That figures. Wyoming law is so lax on so many things that the state is plundered regularly by smooth operatrors from other states and countries. Yes, Wyomingites hate too much government and too many regulations. But when that attitude collides with reality, it's just plain recklessness.

The lack of water in the Green will kill trout and salmon and wreck the environment. It will hurt Wyoming's tourism business. The real tragedy is that there is absolutely no need for it. Colorado needs to conserve water. Period. I acknowledge that my home state has done more than Wyoming to conserve water and energy, especially during the past decade. But (and I really mean this Colorado) you just can't have Wyoming's water.

Written comments on the project will be accepted until May 19. Send them to Ms. Rena Brand, Regulatory Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Omaha District), Denver Regulatory Office, 9307 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, CO 80128. To chat with Ms. Brand, call her at 303-979-4120.

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