Not being up in Colorado, I don’t have a good feel for how seriously to take Aaron Million’s Flaming Gorge pipeline proposal. My hallway conversations at CRWUA left me with the feeling that not a lot of people in the basin take it very seriously, but I don’t know water issues in the state of Colorado well enough to know if I was talking to the right people.
Bruce Finley’s latest Denver Post story on the project gave me pause:
The pipeline to move up to 200,000 acre-feet of water a year could sustain water-intensive hydraulic-fracturing operations in Wyoming and Colorado, Million said.
“We’ve heard rough figures of 15,000 to 20,000 acre-feet annually for fracking needs,” Million said. “If this new water supply helps with the fracking issues, then, without question, we would consider delivering water for the industry.”
Here’s the puzzle. During the tangled federal approval process last year (at the time, the project was before the US Army Corps of Engineers), Million delivered a list of potential users that was mostly front range municipal water users, with some ag thrown in. (pdf here) Now that fracking is hot, Million’s talking fracking and energy with the Denver Post. Does this kind of changeability mean this is a flakey project I should ignore? Or, conversely, does this mean that water demand from multiple sources on the front range is such that I should take it even more seriously?