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Fighting Irresponsible Water Projects

Unfortunately, water planners throughout the 7-state Colorado River region are planning even more new dams, diversions, and pipelines that would further drain the river and its tributaries.  Here’s the continually growing and updated list of bad water project proposals in the Upper Basin of the Colorado River we are tracking closely and/or fighting to stop:

In Colorado:

  • Moffat Collection System Project in Colorado (15,000 acre feet — has some permits, awaiting more permits, and then challenges)
  • Windy Gap Firming Project in Colorado (30,000 acre feet — permitted, challenged in court)
  • Wolf Creek Reservoir on the the White River in Colorado ( ? acre feet — hasn’t begun permitting yet)
  • The San Juan Headwaters Project  ( ? acre feet — hasn’t begun permitting yet)
  • The proposed water diversions in and near Aspen, Colorado  ( ? acre feet — hasn’t begun permitting yet)
  • Irresponsible water use from the Animas-La Plata Project (New diversions will start soon — already built, but needs permits and MOUs for water use)
  • Six proposed new dams on Hunter Creek and the Frying Pan River in/near the Holy Cross Wilderness. (6,000 acre feet or more)

In New Mexico: 

  • Gila River Pipeline in New Mexico (12,000 acre feet — beginning permitting)
  • Navajo-Gallop Water Project (36,000 acre feet — pipeline being constructed)

In Utah: 

  • Price River Dam in Utah  ( ? acre feet — Corps halted BuRec’s permitting process, for now)
  • Lake Powell Pipeline in Utah (86,000 acre feet — permitting process occurring now by FERC, but will need other permits)
  • Green River Nuclear Powerplant in Utah (50,000 acre feet — has water rights, has not started other permits)
  • Flaming Gorge Pipeline (55,000 acre feet, water rights application filed which we “protested” in Utah State Water Court)

In Wyoming: 

  • Fontenelle Dam expansion on the Green River in Wyoming (125,000 acre feet — moving bill through Congress to get water right, then proposes to begin permitting, and which we’ve spoken out about more than anyone)
  • The 280-foot-high dam on the West Fork of Battle Creek in Carbon County, a tributary to the Yampa. ( ? acre feet — hasn’t begun permitting yet)
  • Big Sandy Reservoir Enlargment on the Big Sandy River, a tributary to the Green River. ( ? acre feet — The “EA” has been released, and we put in comments about deficient the EA was.)

Faming Gorge Pipeline

Altogether, the proposals above would divert a new ~300,000 acre feet of water (or more, perhaps LOTS more) out of the Upper Basin of the Colorado River and its tributaries. In addition, state water planning processes in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are also yielding even more bad proposed water projects that we may address in the future.  Nevada, Arizona, and California are also proposing new destructive water supply projects, including some proposals to settle Native American water rights that may include even more dams and diversions. Save The Colorado believes that our society needs to stop draining and destroying rivers and needs to focus on river protection and restoration. Thus, we are addressing the threat of these proposed irresponsible projects on many levels through science, law, and public advocacy.

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