The proposed Flaming Gorge Pipeline would be a massive new diversion of water out of the Colorado River system. The Pipeline would take water out of the Green River near Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Southwest Wyoming and pipe and pump it 500 miles up and over the Continental Divide down to the Front Range of Colorado for future population growth. The Pipeline would have negative impacts on fish and wildlife, negative impacts on the recreational and tourist economy in downstream Colorado River states including western Colorado, and would be the most expensive source of water in Colorado history costing up to $9 billion for the project.
Thousands of people representing sportsmen’s groups, businesses, and conservation groups have spoken out against the Pipeline. Save the Colorado helped lead a coalition of Colorado conservation groups to gather 22,000 signatures opposing the Pipeline in the summer of 2011. Save the Colorado continues work with this broad coalition to stop the pipeline and promote alternatives to new water supply projects that are cheaper, better protect rivers, and protect economies throughout the Colorado River basin.
2. Supporting conservation and river health in the Colorado River “Basin Study”
Throughout the Colorado River basin, water supply studies are moving forward so that cities, states, and regions can have secure water supplies in the future. Save the Colorado is working with partner organizations throughout the basin to ensure that these studies contain policies that include scientific analyses of climate change, adequate streamflows to protect wildlife and habitat, economic impacts to the recreational and tourism economy, and aggressive water conservation measures.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (within the Dept. of Interior) is also working with the Colorado River basin states on a “Basin Study” to characterize current and future water supply and demand imbalances in the Basin. This study will also assess the risks to Basin water resources as a result of climate change, and identify, prioritize, and analyze barriers to potential strategies to resolve Basin-wide supply and demand imbalances. The Bureau intends to finish the Study in 2012 – when the study is released, it will contain proposed solutions. Save the Colorado and its partner organizations are engaging with the Basin Study to ensure that adequate conservation analyses and goals are included.
The Colorado River Delta – legendary for its ecological riches – for decades was dismissed as a lost landscape. Since the closing of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1960, the only significant river flows reaching the Delta occurred during extremely wet periods, and considerable native riparian habitat disappeared. Nevertheless, studies of the remnant ecosystem have shown that it is of higher quality than the rest of the Colorado River riparian corridor below Lake Mead. Save the Colorado is working with partner organizations to begin restoring streamflows to the Colorado River Delta.
The restoration effort consists of both on-the-ground efforts and the re-establishment of a legally-recognized environmental flow regime that provides sufficient water for the restoration and maintenance of riparian habitats along the mainstem below Morelos Dam. A key feature of the restoration effort involves getting a “Bi-National Agreement” between the United States and Mexico to better manage Colorado River water so that Delta restoration can occur. Save the Colorado is helping to raise awareness about the dried-up Delta and is promoting scientific polices in a Bi-National Agreement that restore some streamflows to help bring the Delta back to life. Please take action by signing the petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/restore-the-colorado-river-delta