The Green River in Southwestern Wyoming, the largest tributary to the Upper Colorado River, is being targeted as a source of new water supply and source of hydropower for southeastern Wyoming and the Front Range of Colorado. The proposal to withdraw 250,000 acre-feet (AF) of water from the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir would help meet projected water supply needs through 2030 and beyond. Referred to as the “Regional Watershed Supply Project” (RWSP), the proposal comes from Million Conservation Resource Group (MCRG) a private firm run by Aaron Million, who intends to sell water from its project to municipalities, agriculture, and industry as far south as Pueblo, Colorado.
Components of the RWSP:
- Withdrawal Facilities- Two water withdrawal facilities would be used, one on the east side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir and one on the east bank of the Green River 200 feet downstream of the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge;
- Withdrawal Volumes- The total estimated annual withdrawal from the two diversion points are 165,000 AF from Flaming Gorge and 85,000 from the Green River. In average and wet years, the green River volumes increase to 157,000 AF and 197,000 AF respectively;
- Pipelines - approximately 578 miles of pipeline as wide as 120 inches would extend from the diversion points to Southeastern Wyoming, and South along Colorado Front Range to Pueblo, Colorado;
- Pump Stations - Approximately 16 natural gas-powered pump stations would be located along the route;
- Storage and Delivery Systems - Three water storage systems, including a new 185,00AF reservoir near Fort Collins, Colroado would be used to store water from the Project. Delivery systems will be determined once specific water users are identified;
If the proposed project becomes a reality, it would have irreparable environmental impacts to Flaming Gorge Reservoir and the Green River, and negative recreational and economic impacts to the region. The Green River is home to a world-class trout fishery and is a highly valued recreation destination for people throughout the West. Withdrawing 250,000 additional acre-feet each year from the Colorado River Basin would intensify the scarcity of an already over-tapped resource. The Colorado River rarely flows to its delta in the Gulf of California. American Whitewater is tracking this project - stay tuned for updates and ways you can be involved.
FERC Denies Flaming Gorge Pumpback Request for Re-Hearing!
05/17/2012 - by Nathan Fey
Green River, WY - On May 17th, FERC denied a request from WyCo Power and Water for a re-hearing of it's proposed Regional Watershed Supply Project (Project No. 14263-001). FERC's order officially closes the FERC permitting process for the speculative project which proposed to pump 250,000 acre-feet of water from the Green River, to Colorado's Front Range cities over 500 miles away. American Whitewater and several of our partners in the conservation community worked hard to defeat the proposal.
Flaming Gorge Pipeline Moves Forward with FERC Application
09/08/2011 - by Nathan Fey
Wyoming/Colorado - Proponents of the 501-mile long pipeline that will send water from the Green River in Wyoming, to Colorado's Front Range, have submitted an Application for a Preliminary Permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The project, known as the "Flaming Gorge pipeline," had been under consideration by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for more than two years until the agency canceled it's environmental review. New plans for the pipeline now include hydropower production, requiring FERC to issue the permit.
Comment Period Extended for Regional Watershed Supply Project (CO/WY)
08/27/2009 - by Nathan Fey
Public Notice - Regional Watershed Supply
Project proposed by Million Conservation Resource Group.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers announces the scoping comment period for the Flaming Gorge/Green River Pumpback has been extended to September 28, 2009.
The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.
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