Reed Dils of Salida is serving on the 20-member committee studying issues related to the proposed 578-mile pipeline to move water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to the Colorado Front Range.

The pipeline would transmit the remaining unallocated portion of Colorado River Upper Basin water from the Green River reservoir to the Front Range.

Colorado Water Conservation Board officials estimate the construction cost at between $7 billion and $9 billion.

Private businessmen Aaron Million and Frank Jaeger have submitted competing proposals for construction of the pipeline.

The Pueblo Chieftain recently reported an Australian firm has also shown interest.

Dils said he has served on the Arkansas Basin Round Table as a recreational-environmental representative since its inception.

The Flaming Gorge project committee consists of two representatives for each of the seven river basins in Colorado in addition to two representatives each for areas of interest such as environment and agriculture.

Bills’ role on the committee is as a recreational-environmental representative.

Dils said the committee’s task is to study all related issues, but “it’s not a process of determining whether the project is good or bad.”

Effects to Western Slope water providers, environmental impacts to endangered fish in the Green River and the effects of water leaving the gorge are a few issues, he said.

So far, Dils has attended one meeting and said about four more are planned.

He said anticipation is for study completion in the fall.

“I’ve been once. I wouldn’t call it fun, but it’s necessary because it’s a big issue,” Dils said.

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