Prevent Premature Drying of Green and Colorado Rivers

Target: Governors of Colorado and Utah

Goal: Protect the waters of the Green River and Colorado River by barring a proposal to divert water through a pipeline from the Lower Colorado River Basin to the Front Range of Colorado and Southern Wyoming.

The Colorado River hasn’t flowed to the ocean for over a decade, and the majority of its water supports agriculture, leaving it and its largest tributary, the Green River, in serious danger. Compounding this course towards eventual drying is a proposal by a Colorado entrepreneur to build a water pipeline which would divert water from the Lower Colorado River Basin to Colorado and Southern Wyoming. Thousands of jobs in tourism and recreation, along with the fishing industry and agriculture, depend on the continuous flow of the river.

The “Regional Watershed Supply Project” would move 81 billion gallons of water from the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming, 500 miles over the Continental Divide, then back to Colorado. Though it would supply power to up to one million homes, that would barely offset the energy needed to construct the pipeline and propel the water. In addition to its cost of $9 billion, this project would cost the region’s economy and environment tremendously. With over 25% of its water diverted, the Green River would be unable to support habitat for wildlife, agriculture, fish populations and the fishing industry, nor tourism and recreation. Water rights come into play as well, since a compact already gives priority to the Lower Basin States to receive water from this source.

There is a great need for water and energy in Colorado and Southern Wyoming, but this is not the solution. Among other proposals, this is by far most expensive in terms of finance as well as the far-reaching economic and environmental impacts. Please request that the governors of affected states heed warnings from many interests, as well as the decision of the federal government, and accept no appeals or further investigation in regard to this proposal. Instead, support more efficient water supply options, and prioritize ecological restoration of the rivers and surrounding environments.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governors John Hickenlooper and Gary R. Herbert,

The waters of the Green and Colorado Rivers are in danger of running dry prematurely due to a proposal to divert a significant portion of water from the Lower Basin of the Colorado River 500 miles to the Front Range in Colorado and Southern Wyoming. This vastly expensive project would endanger habitats and wildlife, tourism and recreation, a National Monument, as well as agriculture, fish populations and the fishing industry.

Costing 9 billion dollars, as well as an enormous amount of fuel to construct and operate, this pipeline proposal is the most expensive solution to water supply in this region. It would pump 81 billion gallons of water each day, over 25% of the Green River, jeopardizing a water supply already at-risk from climate change and demand from the Lower Basin States. Invaluable habitats for wildlife and economically important fish populations would likely be unable to survive the blow, and other river based industries and environments would follow.

It is imperative that we protect the invaluable resource and beauty of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Do not waste further time or funding on investigating or supporting this vastly destructive project. Please instead focus on safer solutions for power and water supply, and encourage the preservation of these two rivers and the environments and life which depend on them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: deltaMike via Flickr

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