Boondoggle watch: Colorado water stakeholder recently agreed to move forward with a task force to study a giant, 560-mile pipeline from Flaming Gorge to the Front Range. The plan is the dream of Ft. Collins developer Aaron Million (gotta love that name), who has been selling the project as a win-win for everyone from fish to farmers. (And if you believe that, I’ve got some property in the Mojave Desert I’d like to sell you. . . ) In truth, the pipeline poses a big risk to the gold-medal waters of the Green River below Flaming Gorge, which could see lower flows if the pipeline gets built. Ratepayers’ wallets also could be at risk–this would be the costliest water in state history.
Like Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere, this pipeline is a big, expensive boondoggle waiting to happen. Let the buyer beware. Colorado Water Project director Drew Peternell this week was quoted in an article, saying that the pipeline “is a big, bad idea and a huge distraction for the state.” Instead, Colorado should be looking at cheaper, closer-to-hand ideas such as municipal conservation, smaller storage and voluntary ag water transfers.