The Polis administration applauded an announcement from the Bureau of Reclamation that it will direct $60 million in federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) towards advancing the construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a 130-mile pipeline project from Pueblo Reservoir east to Eads, Colorado that will deliver safe, clean drinking water to 50,000 people in 40 communities.
“We are working closely with local communities, the Bureau of Reclamation, and our federal congressional delegation to fund this project to help deliver safe drinking water to Coloradans. I am thrilled by this major investment of federal funds in Colorado and this combined with our $100 million in state grant and loan commits will help get this project done,” said Governor Polis.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has supported this project with $100 million in grants and loans. The Arkansas Valley Conduit project is the final element of the larger Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which Congress authorized in 1962.
“This is one of the most critical projects that the Colorado Water Conservation Board has been part of,” said CWCB Director Becky Mitchell. “It is essential that every Coloradan - including rural and lower-income communities and our state’s Tribal Nations - have ample access to clean drinking water. It is a basic human right. I commend our Congressional delegation, Governor Polis, and the Bureau of Reclamation for recognizing this need and taking action.”
The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District is the local project manager and has urged an acceleration of the construction schedule utilizing the availability of funding from the IIJA. For this final project element, the Bureau of Reclamation will use the newly available federal funding to build the project trunk line, and local providers will use additional non-federal funds to construct the connections to the trunk line.