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Use It or Lose It

You see, the problem is we have all this damn “unallocated water“. The darn stuff is just laying around in rivers and lakes and not doing anybody any good. Heck, there’s so much of it out there we just spread it out on hay fields and give it to cows. That water could be put to better use. We could send it to Las Vegas where it could be shot into the air with lots of pretty lights or sprayed on golf courses. We could use that water in Denver to flush millions of toilets or we could freeze it and spray it on ski slopes. Why shoot, we could put the stuff in plastic bottles and sell it for hundreds of dollars a gallon. We’re letting it all get away. Fish are shitting in our water. What can we do?colowater

Okay, how ’bout we stick a big siphon in Flaming Gorge Reservoir and run a ten-foot diameter hose along I-80 for about 600 miles and over to Denver? I bet we could make it work for only about $3 billion. Sure it will lower the level of the reservoir and warm the river a bit and the Colorado already has problems due to smaller snowpacks from global warming. Maybe, “Federal wildlife officials are among those questioning possible impacts on endangered species and migratory birds“. We may loose some fish, but they’re mostly just a nuisance anyway. Sure, there might be some tricky issues with the Colorado River Compact, but darn it, we could supply almost a fourth of the water we need to let Colorado continue unrestrained growth for a couple more decades. We can get Wyoming to sign on if we  just drop off a little water in Cheyenne on the way. Screw Utah and Nevada, they’re supposed to be dry states anyway. Oh, I forgot, Nevada is going to suck the water it needs out from under Utah and build their own 275-mile long pipeline. So, it’s just “Screw Utah”. This pipeline thing is catching on.

We’ve done it before, just look at the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. “Twelve reservoirs, 35 miles of tunnels, 95 miles of canals and 700 miles of transmission lines comprise the complex collection, distribution and power system. The C-BT system spans 150 miles east to west and 65 from north to south“. 213,000 acre-feet of water for us. If the Colorado didn’t miss that water, it can pony up a little more. We only need about another 250,000 acre-feet this go-round, a pittance.

We can also get 20% of the flow of the Yampa River, another Colorado River tributary that’s going to waste as a “wild river“. We need to hurry though, because Shell Oil wants about 15 billion gallons of that “unallocated” water for shale oil development.

I suppose we could think about conserving water or slowing growth along the Rocky Mountain Front, but heck, with all that pesky “non-allocated” stuff just going to waste and flowing away, why would we want to do a silly thing like that.

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