Colorado Entrepreneur Wants To Build A Water Pipeline From Utah

Mar 1, 2018

Many are calling it far-fetched, but a mountain west entrepreneur is reviving a proposal to draw water from Utah's Green River and funnel it to Colorado's growing and drought-prone Front Range. The pipeline would move billions of gallons of water across hundreds of miles from Utah through Wyoming and down into Colorado.

Randy Ray is with the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District in Greeley. He’s interested in some of that water for agriculture in his region, north of Denver. “After the cities make one use of it,” says Ray, “then maybe our district can benefit from the second use of that water.”

Still, it appears most environmental groups are against it. The project is not about meeting people's water needs, says Zach Frankel with the Utah Rivers Council.

“It’s more of a water rush,” Frankel says, “to make some money by building an unnecessary and very expensive water project at the public’s expense.” He says it would also jeopardize wildlife including four species of endangered fish.

The project has applied for a permit; the state will give the public a chance to weigh in before a decision is made.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.