Southern Delivery System update: Comments on the contracts to use Fryingpan-Arkansas project facilities close April 25

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The contracts will allow Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Pueblo West to store water in Lake Pueblo, connect a pipeline to Pueblo Dam and change the operation of the Fountain Valley Conduit. Colorado Springs also will have the ability to move water upstream through a paper trade.

“We have not received any comments on the draft contracts,” said Kara Lamb, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Reclamation. Deadline for comments is April 25.

Colorado Springs Utilities expects to begin construction of the SDS project in Pueblo County beginning next month. While SDS was raised as a campaign issue in Colorado Springs elections, all seven council candidates elected last week, as well as the two other members, are supporters of SDS…

Construction on the North Outlet Works, a new connection to the dam, will begin in May. The lead contractor is ASI Constructors of Pueblo West. Construction on pipelines through Pueblo West and through Walker Ranches in northern Pueblo County is scheduled to begin in late summer. Some construction has begun in El Paso County, and fabrication of parts for the dam connection is nearly complete…

As part of SDS, however, each community will store water in excess-capacity accounts in Lake Pueblo beginning this year. Lake Pueblo was built as part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, authorized by Congress in 1962. Nonproject water can be stored in most years. Excess capacity space in Lake Pueblo will be allocated at $36 per acre-foot with an increase of 1.79 percent annually over the 40-year life of the contract with the four communities. For the first seven years of storage, the bills will be reduced by a total of $6 million in recognition of oversizing the initial quarter-mile of pipeline from Pueblo Dam to the Juniper Pump Station. Once that section of pipeline is completed, it will be deeded to Reclamation. Consequently, payments through 2017 will total about $760,000. Payments from the four communities will total more than $1.25 million in 2018, and will increase each year by terms of the contract and as more water is stored.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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