The Colorado/Wyoming Coalition is a joint collaboration between Colorado and Wyoming entities that was created to investigate the feasibility of the Flaming Gorge Pipeline Project, an interstate water project between Colorado and Wyoming. The Colorado entities involved in the Coalition include Douglas County, the 13 members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority, Donala Water and Sanitation District, and Cherokee Metro District in the Pikes Peak Region. The Wyoming entities include the City of Cheyenne, City of Torrington and Laramie County. The project would take unappropriated water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming and deliver it to project participants in Wyoming and Colorado through existing channels and new infrastructure.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation developed a monthly model to consider how hydrologic conditions and water demands may impact conditions at the reservoir as well as defining current and future water availability in the Upper Green River Basin. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation developed operating criteria through this model which include protecting and assisting in the recovery of endangered fish species and maintaining the authorized purposes of the Flaming Gorge reservoir.
The Flaming Gorge Pipeline Feasibility Investigation is funded by the Coalition’s participating entities. A team of consultants was hired to utilize the Bureau’s model and tasked with the following directives:
- Examine the need for the project;
- Identify specific project water yields;
- Identify what portion of Colorado and Wyoming compact entitlements are being sought;
- Identify flow impacts from the project;
- Define water level effects in the reservoir;
- Develop individual costs to each municipal providers;
- Develop financing alternatives; and
- Assess aspects of the feasibility of the project.