Wyoming sees potential to release water owned by the federal government instead of cutting back use by irrigators, industry and municipalities to meet downstream obligations.
Colorado River Compact
Western water system that supports 40 million persons and a $1.4 trillion economy is at risk of severe disruption, State Engineer Tyrrell said last week.
Lawmakers seek “beneficial use” label for drought mitigation, security against downstream demands.
Wyoming wants to modify the Fontenelle Reservoir dam to claim more Colorado River Basin water, but it could face a fight from those downstream.
Legislators hoping to build a Wyoming energy complex could more easily divert Green River water under a bill U.S. Sen. John Barrasso advanced last week.