Arkansas Valley Conduit: $14 million for project to be included in next year’s federal budget

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“What we hope for is that it will be part of the president’s budget on February 1,” lobbyist Christine Arbogast told the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District on Thursday. “If it’s not all there, we’ll work with the congressional delegation (to get the full amount). . . . The deadline for that process is February 26.”[…]

This year could be the first time funds for the project are included in a presidential budget request, and hopes have been bolstered after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s visit to Pueblo last August. At a public meeting, Salazar made Arkansas Valley issues, including the conduit, a high priority. Meanwhile, the Southeastern district is moving ahead on pre-project activities on an accelerated schedule using an Environmental Protection Agency grant, said project manager Phil Reynolds…

Consultants also have begun discussing issues with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Bessemer Ditch and the Pueblo Board of Water Works. The initial path of the pipeline would cross Pueblo and could follow the ditch route toward the first customer, the St. Charles Mesa Water District…

The largest users are St. Charles, 17.47 percent; Lamar, 16.66 percent; La Junta, 14.22 percent; Rocky Ford, 8.05 percent; Las Animas, 6.7 percent; and Crowley County Water Association, 6.68 percent. Another 3 percent was set aside for contingencies. Communities east of Pueblo are entitled to 12 percent of the total yield of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project under past allocation principles. That averages 9,643 acre-feet per year, but can vary widely from one year to the next. The communities are entitled to more than 37,000 acre-feet of Fryingpan-Arkansas Project storage in Lake Pueblo, however.

More Arkansas Valley Conduit coverage here and here.

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