Oil Shale Plans Create Ripple


Oil companies have amassed more than 250 water rights for oil-shale development, giving them a key share of the flow of the Colorado River and the White River, according to a Western Resource Advocates study.

Many of the water rights are also more senior than those held by Front Range water suppliers, and that could hamper plans to bring more water over the mountains for towns and cities, the study said.

"Large-scale oil-shale development could create problems for us and other users," said Denver Water manager Chips Barry.

…Oil companies "have cornered the market" on the Western Slope water rights, said Karin Sheldon, Western Resource Advocates executive director.