DENVER — Senators Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) and Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling) released the following statements regarding the Tuesday, Feb. 4 morning announcement of federal funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit.

“Despite being authorized by President Kennedy nearly sixty years ago, Southern Colorado’s water needs have been put on the back burner year after year by the federal government,” said Senator Larry Crowder, whose district covers the majority of area affected by the project. “Thanks to Senator Gardner’s leadership, we will finally see those promises begin to be fulfilled. This is a big deal for dozens of communities in my district and I’m excited to see the Arkansas Valley Conduit finally move forward.”

“Water is of extreme importance to Colorado’s industries, especially agriculture. I’m very grateful that Senator Gardner stepped up and delivered,” said Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, a member of the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and the Water Resources Review Committee. “Water affects everything we do and the Arkansas Valley Conduit will help expand access to clean water across Southern Colorado. That’s a huge win for all of Colorado.”

Via the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District: “The Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) is a 130-mile pipeline with spurs that would serve as many as 40 communities and 50,000 people east of Pueblo. It will deliver filtered water ready for treatment from Pueblo Reservoir. The AVC will supplement existing water supplies, which face state compliance issues because of salinity or radionuclide contamination. Most of the participants rely on groundwater, and are in need of a reliable supply of fresh water.”

Meanwhile, from Washington, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) also applauded the announcement.

Bennet applauded the “news that the Arkansas Valley Conduit will receive $28 million of Bureau of Reclamation funding to begin construction on the water diversion and storage project in the lower Arkansas Valley, which would bring clean drinking water to an estimated 50,000 Coloradans.”

“For more than five decades, Coloradans in the southeastern corner of our state have been waiting for the federal government to fulfill its promise to deliver clean drinking water to their communities. Since I came to the Senate, we’ve worked together to pursue any and every avenue possible to ensure we fulfill that promise and build the Arkansas Valley Conduit,” said Bennet. “I’m thrilled this project is one step closer to breaking ground and ensuring that families in southeastern Colorado have access to a safe water supply.”

The Arkansas Valley Conduit is the final component of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, a water diversion and storage project in the lower Arkansas Valley. Once constructed, the Conduit will deliver clean drinking water to families and municipalities throughout southeastern Colorado.

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