CO Congressman wants to speed up water pipeline project

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A pipeline that would provide water to small, financially strapped towns in southern Colorado could be in service quicker if Congress acts on a bill introduced by Congressman Bob Schaffer, R-Colorado.

The bill provides for expedited construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit, which would provide water directly to recipients from the Pueblo Reservoir. The bill is a companion proposal to one introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colorado.

“Southern Colorado communities need this project as soon as possible to provide better quality water directly from Pueblo Reservoir, Schaffer said. “Our bill expedites construction of this much-needed pipeline with a workable formula that allows the federal government to fund 75 percent of the cost.”

First authorized with passage of the Frying Pan-Arkansas Project 40 years ago, the venture lacked a cost share formula to fit the tight finances of southeastern Colorado’s then-crippled economic status. With branches for communities along its path, the 150-mile-long pipeline would deliver “affordable” water east to Lamar.

“I am committed to assisting Colorado’s Arkansas Valley coalition of citizens and local governments who have already begun a feasibility study of this project,” said Schaffer. “With drought conditions as severe as we’ve seen in recent memory, now is the time for a solution, today is the day for action.”