A pipeline that would carry water from Lake Nighthorse in Durango, Colorado to Farmington, New Mexico may come with a big price tag.
A consultant for the Los Angeles-based AECOM has told members of the San Juan Water Commission that such a pipeline, running about 50 miles in length, would cost anywhere from $83 million to $173 million to construct.
The commission has for several years been contemplating the benefits of a Lake Nighthorse pipeline, noting that the water from the 120,000-acre foot reservoir could be used in emergency situations and to ease drought conditions.
Rick Cox, a senior engineering with AECOM, which provides design, consulting, and management services to cities across the globe, said the estimate to build what would be a high density polyethylene pipe did not factor in the cost of acquiring rights of way.
This spring, a pipeline connecting Lake Nighthorse to Lake Durango, just under five miles in length, was completed at a cost of $5.3 million.
Lake Nighthorse, named in honor of former Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, was built and is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.
By Garry Boulard
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