Yampa threatened by energy industry? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-07-2009   #1
 
Palisade, Colorado
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Yampa threatened by energy industry?

article in the Denver Post this morning:

Shell eyes Yampa River - The Denver Post

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Old 01-07-2009   #2
 
steamboat, Colorado
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Gauley too

the Gauley is also being thretened by the mining/power industry check out this article at paddling life

Paddling Life magazine -- for Paddling, Sea Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking, Canoeing, Kayak Fishing, Outrigger Canoe, Rec Boats and Touring, plus boating Blogs, Photos and News Clearinghouse.
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Old 01-07-2009   #3
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Could have just as well called this "Yampa threatened by Front Range". 300,000 acre feet is a lot more than Shells 45,000. At least the water Shell is after will eventually flow in the direction geography dictated (both will likely be polluted when the end users are done).

This state seriously needs to start considering water conservation before utilization.
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Old 01-07-2009   #4
 
Westminster, Colorado
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That I-80 pipe is going to come out of the Green, not the Yampa. It still will put a major hurt on recreation flows though.
Yampa valley water users are terrified of this plan. Their municipal water rights are all dated after the Flaming Gorge development. So if the Front Range water manages to secure BuRec FG water rights, with their 1950 dates, Steamboat Springs might have to turn off the taps in order to fulfill a downstream call. Or, more likely, they'll get aggressive about building storage upstream of the towns - hurting Yampa peak flows even more than Shell's pumping. Either way, I think the basin just lost it's last major undammed tributary. Our biggest hope for a savior might come from California. If Colorado decides it needs that water flowing downstream in order to fulfill a Compact call, the state could block all of this. They'll probably just screw some farmers instead though...
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Old 01-07-2009   #5
 
Lakewood, Colorado
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I haven't heard of the Green plan, but there is also a proposal to pipe water from the Yampa near Maybell to the front range. It would require some absurd amount of pipe and tunnels. I listened to a presentation by the Colorado River Conservancy about the proposal. It would take 25% of the flow out for a total of 300k acre feet/year during flows > 1000 cfs. He said there was one routing of the pipe that would allow water to be dumped back into the Yampa above Steamboat for recreational uses. This project is still a ways out as there is concern that their is not enough water available and no funds have been raised yet.
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Old 01-08-2009   #6
 
Evergreen, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars View Post
That I-80 pipe is going to come out of the Green, not the Yampa. It still will put a major hurt on recreation flows though.
Yampa valley water users are terrified of this plan. Their municipal water rights are all dated after the Flaming Gorge development. So if the Front Range water manages to secure BuRec FG water rights, with their 1950 dates, Steamboat Springs might have to turn off the taps in order to fulfill a downstream call.

I'm pretty sure that the I-80 pipe would be taken from above flaming gorge, and because the yampa enters the green below the damn, FG has no right to call... Plus, FG is now managed to mitigate endangered species by releasing water in order to create the best habitat. Any water taken from the Green would have to enable FG to keep this same release schedule, and wouldn't effect flows in the Yampa

At some point the front range will have to import water, period. The question is where is that water going to come from? Down on the south platte? You'll put farmers out of business for sure if you choose that. From the Yampa, Colorado's last under appropriated river? Or from the Green river in WY? Given my choice of those three, I think the Green would be the best option.
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Old 01-08-2009   #7
 
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steamboat Springs, Colorado
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Unfortunatly taking water from the green will have the potential to dry up agricultural land through out the Yampa basin. In the event of a compact call by downriver states water will need to flow across the state lines at a specific CFS. If there is not enough water crossing out of Colorado then agricultural water rights in the Yampa basin would be called in to question in order to boast flows in the green.
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Old 01-08-2009   #8
 
Oak Creek, CO (noon bell, bitches), Colorado
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The I 80 project is the Million Water Pipeline, it is privately funded by Aaron Million (no shit) and other investors and will put water from the Flaming Gorge up for SALE as far South (through the front range) into Pueblo. It is projected that the water will be bought by major corporations only. Coyote Gulch for update. Hopefully the environmental firm hired will find enough reasons to put the kibosh on it. Arrogant ass... Water lifeline or dream? - The Denver Post

The Shell project is completely different The Steamboat Pilot & Today: Shell requests water rights on Yampa

We are in for a long fight. Enjoy the green and yampa while you can.
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Old 01-08-2009   #9
 
Denver, Colorado
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Water demands will continue to increase as the population grows and as the country moves from importing energy to producing more or its own energy. At some point there simply won't be enough water from snow, reservoirs and aquifers to supply the arid west.

My solution: Giant desalination plants on the west coast with power plants piggy backed onto them. The supply of water in the Ocean drawfs the needs to the US and mankind. Getting the salt out takes lots of energy and is costly, but it would be a feasible long term solution. If I was king, I would put in the desalination plants and route pipelines to all the western water users, and all the way to the front range. Large, expensive and massive, yes, but when we can tear down every dam from the rockies to the pacific and let all of our rivers run free (with some flood control left in the system of course), it would be a reasonable long term (ie 100+ yrs) solution to me.

Most of the current thinking is in the 30 yr range, and what after then?
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Old 01-09-2009   #10
 
Golden, Colorado
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A compact call could probably screw the entire state, including the Front Range. The Compact has a priority of 1922, which predates nearly all of the Front Range's trans-basin tunnels and diversions. BuRec would have to try to supply water to lower basin states out of upper basin reserviors, like Blue Mesa, Flaming gorge, even Green Mountain and Dillon. And given that the combined water in all of those reserviors is still just a fraction of what Mead or Powell stores, and how fast we've been able to suck those down, I could see Colorado's reserviors drying really fast in that event.

In a bizarre way, as kayakers, we really need a bunch of guzzlers downstream in California and Arizona, as they are the only thing that keeps water moving downhill on the western slope. That part of the reason the Yampa and Green are as untouched as they are. If the front range developers and water boards didn't have to battle the lower basin, the Colorado and the Yampa would be dry at the state line.
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