Pipeline from the Mississippi River to Colorado?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Hausler’s idea is to bring water from the Mississippi just below its confluence with the Ohio River across Missouri and Kansas into Colorado. The 800-mile system of pipelines, ditches and reservoirs would cost an estimated $23 billion and could provide 1 million acre-feet of water a year to Colorado. That’s just a little less than the total amount used by cities and more than enough to meet the projected municipal gap for the next 50 years.

He’s presented the idea to the Arkansas Basin Roundtable, state officials (including former Gov. Bill Ritter) and anyone else who will listen. And there’s the problem. They just listen. And maybe snicker a little. “The project is pretty dead right now,” said Hausler, a Gunnison rancher and mining engineer, in a telephone interview Monday. “I’ve gotten tired of beating my head against the wall. I think it’s silly and short-sighted, certainly parochial. Nobody in this state is really looking forward.” Hausler said the cost of construction and operation of a Mississippi River pipeline would be in line with the cost per acre-foot of proposed projects from the Colorado River…

The Mississippi River passes more than 240 million acre-feet annually at the proposed point of diversion, 30 miles south of Cairo, Ill. During the current flooding, more than 4 million acre-feet per day are flowing at that spot…

Hausler insisted the Mississippi River pipeline is a true regional solution that would not dry up any farmland or put any further stress on the Colorado River. “We need to ignore the arbitrary state lines drawn on a map in 1860s Washington and come up with a regional solution to water needs that will benefit the entire West including several Plains states,” Hausler said.

More pipeline from the Mississippi River coverage here.

2 Responses to Pipeline from the Mississippi River to Colorado?

  1. Camman says:

    The proposal makes very good sense, considering the drought situation in the southwest at present. We as America, could certainly benefit from such a project. It could satisfy the needs of millions of Americans during years where flooding is more likely and drought grips the farming communities. It would create jobs and stability in many areas. Seems like a workable idea for many, rather than concentrating tax dollars on a bullet train that only provides the convenience of speed, but no solutions for sustainability.

    • Coyote Gulch says:

      Camman,

      Thanks for commenting. Ms. Mulroy’s plan has significant water quality concerns. I believe it will be hard or impossible for her to get the major Front Range west slope diverters to send their water down to the Lower Colorado River in exchange for water from east of the Colorado-Kansas border.

      Maybe we’ll see a reverse-Flaming Gorge pipeline?

      John Orr

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