U.S. Representatives Markey and Salazar announce $5 million for Arkansas Valley Conduit

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

U.S. Reps. John Salazar and Betsy Markey, both Democrats, made the joint announcement of a $5 million appropriation by the energy and water subcommittee Monday.

“We’re extremely pleased and hopeful things continue to go this well in the Senate,” said Bill Long, president of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, sponsors of the conduit project. Long and other Southeastern officials are in Washington today to further discuss with members of the Colorado delegation how a plan to use Bureau of Reclamation contracts to help repay the cost of building the conduit will work. The concept was approved in an authorization bill signed into law earlier this year by President Barack Obama…

Salazar is a member of the appropriations committee and has made several public statements in the past few months about the need for the conduit, even assuring valley residents last month that construction will begin before he leaves office…

Markey stressed that the funding will save the communities of the Lower Arkansas Valley millions of dollars in expenditures they could face in meeting water quality standards. Radium and uranium are contaminating some of the wells in the area, and smaller water systems would be hard-pressed to cover the costs projected by preliminary estimates by the state Water Quality Control Division…

The Southeastern District had sought $9 million in funding, but the $5 million will be enough to advance the project significantly, said Phil Reynolds, project manager. The money will go toward finalizing the route, determining property ownership, identifying geologic or technical obstacles, begin work on an environmental impact statement and begin the pre-design of the pipeline. The pipeline would be gravity-fed along about 140 miles and spurs would serve Crowley County and Eads along the way.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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