The fight for water: Can the mighty Mississippi save the West?

Published: Sunday, May 13 2012 6:21 p.m. MDT

As the bureau works through the proposals and completes its analysis in the coming months, nothing is out of reach as it approaches the caretaking of the Colorado River much like a nutritionist might.

If the river is already anemic, does it make sense to cut away more precious acre-feet of water it needs to sustain what is already here? Or is it possible to build up the health of the river through massive conservation efforts, and bring in friends like the Mississippi, Snake or Bear rivers to conduct an intervention?

Massive, money-draining projects aren't out of the question if it means water still flows through the Colorado basin, but it depends on the price willing to be paid for water out of the tap, for a lifestyle in the arid West, for the desire to keep fields growing, Strong said.

"Some of these big pipeline systems will require you spend that kind of money to move water to where the people are," Strong said, "but a lot will depend on our appetite and foresight."

Related list: Dam locations that comprise the Colorado River Basin area

Read more: Lake Powell Pipeline: Albatross or golden goose?


Twitter: amyjoi16

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