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Hickenlooper, Bennet Celebrate Groundbreaking of Arkansas Valley Conduit

Apr 28, 2023

$60 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help deliver clean drinking water to Southeastern Colorado with the Arkansas Valley Conduit

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet joined Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, Department of the Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Gary Gold, and Colorado Water Conservation Board Director Becky Mitchell for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a major water infrastructure project that will deliver clean drinking water to 50,000 Coloradans when complete. Reclamation awarded the project $60 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding last fall. Hickenlooper and Bennet celebrated that announcement with local leaders in October.

“Our Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is finally getting this project across the finish line,” said Hickenlooper. “We passed that bill to update our infrastructure in cities, rural areas and everywhere in between. Today we’re delivering.”

“Sixty years after President Kennedy came to Pueblo and promised to build the Arkansas Valley Conduit, we are one step closer to delivering safe, clean water to 39 communities and 50,000 Coloradans along the Arkansas River. This is what it means to invest in America again,” said Bennet. “Today’s groundbreaking is a testament to the generations of people in southeast Colorado who continue to fight for clean drinking water.”

The Arkansas Valley Conduit is a planned 130-mile water-delivery system from the Pueblo Reservoir to as many as 40 rural communities throughout the Arkansas River Valley in Southeast Colorado. This funding will expedite the construction timeline for the Conduit and allow for federal drinking water standards to be met more quickly by local water providers. The Conduit is the final phase of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which Congress authorized in 1962.

Hickenlooper and Bennet have consistently advocated for increased funding for the AVC. In January, Hickenlooper and Bennet joined in a letter to urge Reclamation to allocate additional resources through annual appropriations and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.  In May 2022, the senators sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the AVC in the FY23 spending bill. In March 2022, Hickenlooper and Bennet helped secure $12 million for the Conduit from the FY22 omnibus bill. Hickenlooper and Bennet will continue working in Washington to ensure communities have the resources needed to complete this vital project for the region.


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