Flaming Gorge: Costly Pipelines are Not the Answer
What is the Flaming Gorge Pipeline?
- A 560-mile water pipeline that would divert 81 billion gallons a year from the West Slope to the Front Range. The project would deplete the Green River, the Colorado River’s largest tributary, removing up to 25% of its flow.
- The Colorado Water Conservation Board estimates the pipeline would cost $7 to $9 billion.
- Construction is dependent on taxpayer subsidies.
- Flaming Gorge water will cost up to 10 times more than any other water in Colorado.
- Flaming Gorge water will be the most expensive water in the history of Colorado.
- Taxpayer subsidies may be over $370 million dollars PER YEAR!
- Taxpayer subsidies could divert money from schools, roads, and more practical water storage projects.
- Could trigger a call of the river – a doomsday scenario that threatens all water users.
- The Green River is the #2 most endangered rivers in the US and this removal of water every year would decimate recreation, rural economies, critical fish habitat and the water supply for the lower basin.
- A number of cities and counties including Mesa County, Montrose County, Delta County, Garfield County, Moffat County, Summit County, San Miguel County, the City of Grand Junction, the City of Fruita as well as the Colorado River Conservation District.
- A number of prominent conservative leaders and business owners on Colorado’s western slope are opposed including the Executive Committee of the Western Conservative Alliance. It is not just environmentalists opposed to the project, but a broad spectrum of local governments, decision makers and businesses who oppose the project.
We feel cost effective and no regrets strategies that prioritize conservation are better than building massive pipelines that will cost billions and take years to complete. We think improvements can be made in urban conservation, agricultural efficiency and cooperative agreements like water banking and that these strategies should be more aggressively pursued.
Across the river basin 5.36 million adults use the river and its tributaries for recreational activities each year, the river supports a quarter million jobs and produces $26 billion in economic output. These figures demonstrate the value of keeping water in the rivers.
“Don’t waste money on Flaming Gorge fiasco” - Grand Junction Daily Sentinel