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Colorado's public lands are faced with new challenges but water and land management depend on working together. Read about the relationship between water and land in Colorado and how Coloradans are converging to restore Colorado's public lands in the Spring 2018 issue of Headwaters magazine.

Browse articles and find a flipbook of the magazine here.

Connecting the Drops

connectingdropslogo4.1Bringing you the reporting you crave over the radio airways with extras and archives on our website. Visit the audio archives or listen to the latest story on the connection between Colorado's forests, watersheds, and forest fires:

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Water Education Colorado

Feasibility Study Released for ‘Big Straw’ Project

DENVER, CO — In late November 2003, the results of the Colorado River Return Reconnaissance Study (CRRRS) were released at a Colorado Water Conservation Board meeting.

Boyle Engineering presented information on the proposed project that would divert the Colorado River downstream of Grand Junction and pump it east through the mountains to provide water deliveries to the Colorado, South Platte and Arkansas River basins.

Estimated to take 27 years to build, Boyle presented small, medium, and large versions of the project, as well as three potential pipeline corridors.

According to initial estimates, the least costly alternatives in terms of total present value capitalized costs — what it would cost to build the project in today's dollars — are $8.1 billion for the small version, $13.4 billion for the medium version, and $18.3 billion for the large version. This translates into a cost per acre foot ranging from $32,400 to $24,400 with increasing economy of scale. These estimates include costs for operations and maintenance.

Environmental interests have already raised concerns about water quality, as well as air quality impacts associated with the power plant(s) needed to supply the pumps, and potential hazards to wildlife from the proposed 22 square miles of evaporation ponds that may concentrate contaminants from the system's water treatment facilities. They also noted that Boyle's estimates, while they included costs for environmental permitting, did not include costs for environmental mitigation, which could be considerable.

A summary report of the study is available on the CWCB Web site at www.cwcb.state.co.us or by calling 303-866-3441.

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