Colorado has a new interbasin transfer idea

A bunch of Colorado and Wyoming municipal water utilities apparently hope to gang up on entrepreneur Aaron Million, hatching a pipeline scheme of their own to pipe water across the continental divide to growing front range cities. From Bobby Magill at the Coloradan:

Move over, Aaron Million.

A coalition of municipal water suppliers from the south Denver Metro area and Wyoming announced Thursday at the Capitol that they’re banding together to study a project that could end up competing with the Fort Collins entrepreneur’s proposed Regional Watershed Supply Project and potentially call for new reservoirs to be built in Larimer County somewhere east of the foothills.

Each utility in the coalition will contribute $20,000 to a feasibility study for a massive municipal water pipeline project called the Colorado-Wyoming Cooperative Water Supply Project, which would pipe water for 532,000 people from Wyoming’s Flaming Gorge Reservoir to the Front Range.

To get a sense of the scale here, the pipeline projects would carry something like a quarter, roughly, of the water carried by the Central Arizona Project canal from Parker Dam on the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson. Put another way, it’s about a quarter of the water carried by the Rio Grande in an average year through central New Mexico.

The price tag for either Million’s private project or the new municipal alternative, according to Cathy Proctor in the Denver Business Journal, is about $3 billion.

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