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$1.4B profit planned for Flaming Gorge water pipeline

By Catherine Tsai

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, April 5 2012 8:55 p.m. MDT

The Flaming Gorge Reservoir near the Wyoming/Utah border would be the starting point of the "MIllion" pipeline to Colorado.

Associated Press

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DENVER — A Colorado businessman seeking to build a pipeline to deliver water from Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range estimates that whoever designs, builds, finances and operates the project could see at least a $1.4 billion profit, according to a document shown to potential contractors.

Aaron Million of Fort Collins and his team have put out a request for proposals from contractors to develop the project. Proposals are due today.

Million envisions drawing Green River water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwest Wyoming and sending it to water users in southeast Wyoming and northern Colorado. His team still needs federal permits to proceed with the plan, which includes a 578-mile pipeline plus three reservoirs, nine natural-gas powered pump stations and six hydropower facilities.

His team's confidential business proposal, shown to potential contractors, estimates construction costs of $2.8 billion to $3.2 billion, with annual operating costs of between an estimated $70 million and $90 million per year being paid by water users.

The project would initially deliver about 110,000 acre-feet of water to municipal and industrial users, with re-use available to farm and environmental interests, according to the business plan.

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