WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet called on President Biden to prioritize funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) in his budget for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25). The AVC is a planned 130-mile water-delivery system from the Pueblo Reservoir to nearly 40 rural communities and 50,000 Coloradans throughout the Arkansas River Valley in Southeast Colorado.
“Increased investment is vital for fulfilling the long overdue promise of the AVC,” wrote the senators. “Additional funding from the President’s FY25 budget will help leverage the historic investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, along with state and local funding, to accelerate the project’s completion.”
Many communities in the Arkansas River Valley rely entirely on groundwater and several face water contamination from naturally-occurring radioactive elements. The AVC is the final phase of the Fryingpan Arkansas Project and would connect these communities with clean drinking water.
Hickenlooper and Bennet have consistently advocated for increased funding for the AVC. In July 2023, the senators welcomed $100 million in funding from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to expedite the construction of the AVC after they urged BOR to consider allocating additional funding for the system. Following Hickenlooper and Bennet’s call to the Senate Appropriations Committee last March to continue to fund the project, the Fiscal Year 2024 budget included $10.1 million for the AVC. The Biden administration has already directed $160 million to this project from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but the senators urge robust and sustained commitments from BOR to meet this decades-long need.
The text of the letter is available HERE.