Water authority for the lower Arkansas Valley?

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Small water districts are feeling the crush of dealing with tighter federal and state standards along with the cost to replace or rehabilitate older systems. Regional water authorities where they can pool their infrastructure resources are one answer. Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District voted unanimously Wednesday to provide up to $14,000 to look at the possibility of forming a water authority for small districts in the valley. There are 26 small water companies or districts in Otero County, some that serve only a few families, and a preliminary meeting last week with some of the water providers indicated some interest in an umbrella organization. Half of the districts serve less than 200 people. “These are run by people who have full-time jobs who are struggling just to keep the leaks fixed and generating enough money to pay the electric bill to keep water coming out of the tap,” said Bill Hancock, conservation director for the Lower Ark. Hancock’s family runs one of the small districts as well. An authority was brought up following a meeting with the Colorado Water Quality Division two months ago, where many of the water companies experienced sticker shock over the cost of recommended upgrades to their systems…

The water providers are facing new water quality regulations on radionuclides in well water that could require millions of dollars to meet. At the same time, they are working with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District on the $300 million Arkansas Valley Conduit, a water supply line that would solve many of their problems. However, since many are private companies, they are not eligible for public funding, and connecting to a public source can be expensive.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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