August 17, 2009

A pipeline or a pipe dream to quench Colorado’s thirst?

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If there’s a pipeline involved…  This project was once considered so far-fetched that it was considered a pipe dream. Now it’s getting a second look, the Denver Post reports.

We’re talking about piping water from western Wyoming across the Continental Divide to Colorado’s booming Front Range cities. The Denver Post reports that Colorado and Wyoming municipal water suppliers are discussing the project, and a private entrepreneur’s proposal to build a pipeline is under federal review.

The $3 billion pipeline would carry water not claimed from the Green River Basin, south of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, along Interstate 80 and Interstate 25 to high-growth cities from Fort Collins to Pueblo. Conservationists say there are potential environmental impacts to withdrawing the water, including river ecosystems thrown out of balance and hazards to migratory birds and endangered species. But Colorado’s thirst is huge. A forecast projects the state’s population will double to 10 million by 205o, requiring  four times  in new water as much as Denver’s current annual consumption.

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