Wyoming Water Development Commission to consider proposed Green River Pipeline

The WWDC will consider a request “for the State to be proactive in finding use for unallocated water from the Green River as part of the Colorado River Compact”

The WWDC will consider a request “for the State to be proactive in finding use for unallocated water from the Green River as part of the Colorado River Compact” at the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC)/Select Water Committee (SWC) joint meeting in November.

Two residents of the Green River basin, Bryce Reece and Bill Taliaferro, acting under the assumption that downstream states will end up with the state’s unused Colorado River allocation if the state fails to put it to use, have made a request for the state to sponsor a feasibility study for constructing a gravity-fed pipeline to deliver unallocated Green River water from Fontenelle Reservoir for beneficial uses in southwest Wyoming.  Among the beneficial uses the pair has in mind is using sagebrush land for irrigated agriculture.

Reece and Taliaferro have discussed the proposal with political subdivisions and water users who have shown interest and support—but only one the Mayor of the Town of Granger has formalized that sentiment with a letter of support.  As a result Wyoming Water Development Office’s (WWDO) recommendation is “Do Not Fund.”  The agency reasons that the scope of work for the project needs to be focused to only the entities that are “seriously interested in the project,” and suggests that those entities write letters of support describing their intent to participate in the study.

The SWC, a legislative committee that monitors the water development program, reviews project contracts and prepares legislation, heard a presentation by Reece and Taliaferro on the proposal in June, but did not take action at that time.

By Marta L. Weismann, Director of Research