A management plan designed to provide a blueprint for the construction of the long-awaited Arkansas Valley Conduit has now won the planning approval of two agencies overseeing its eventual completion.
The Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy District, as well as the Bureau of Reclamation, have given their thumbs up to the management plan for the project’s construction.
That project will see the construction of a 130-mile water pipeline on the east side of Pueblo.
Once built and fully operational, the pipeline will deliver filtered water for treatment from the Pueblo Reservoir. In the process, the conduit is expected to serve up to 50,000 people in and around some forty communities of varying sizes.
It is thought that it could cost as much as $610 million to build the entire system. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation has committed itself to $28 million in initial funding.
In helping to secure that $28 million earlier this year, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner said, “The communities of the Lower Arkansas Valley deserve clean drinking water, which the Arkansas Valley Conduit will supply for generations to come.”
Another source of funding will likely come from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which has pledged $100 million in support, funding that still waits the approval of the Colorado Legislature.
The project has a storied past: proposed by President John F. Kennedy after a visit to Colorado in 1962 and authorized by Congress that same year, it has been repeatedly delayed due to funding issues.
By Garry Boulard
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