From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
The Colorado Water Conservation Board is looking at three new transmountain possibilities and two pumpback plans in the Arkansas and South Platte river basins in an analysis of supply options that could provide between 100,000 and 250,000 acre-feet per year of new water to the Front Range.
Only one of the projects, a 540-mile pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to Colorado’s Front Range, is actively being pursued. Entrepreneur Aaron Million and the South Metro Water Supply Authority both looking are at it. The “Big Straw” plan, or Colorado River Reconnaissance Project, was not evaluated in the latest study because of its high initial cost to build. It would bring water from the Colorado River near Grand Junction to the Front Range. Other projects studied were from Blue Mesa Reservoir and the Yampa River. The Green Mountain pumpback plan also was included in the study, although it would provide about 68,000 acre-feet annually — less than the other 100,000 or 250,000 acre-feet plans.
The Arkansas Valley plans would move water from either La Junta or Avondale to Rueter-Hess Reservoir near Parker. From either place, the cost would be nearly $100,000 per acre-foot over the 50-year life of the project and supply 100,000 or 250,000 acre-feet, according to a report by CDM engineering. All of the other options come in around $80,000 per acre-foot or less over 50 years. One of the South Platte options would cost around $70,000, while the Green Mountain option is about $40,000 over the life of the project. The reason for the discrepancy would be the need for reverse-osmosis, coupled with unproven methods of zero liquid discharge, to bring Arkansas Valley water up to drinking quality…
The new report, now in draft form, will be part of a Colorado Water Conservation Board’s water needs assessment expected to be complete in January.
More CWCB coverage here.