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Hickenlooper, Bennet Laud Committee Passage of Colorado Priorities in Biennial Water Bill 

May 22, 2024

Projects will help manage flood risk, promote healthy waterways

Legislation now heads to the Senate floor for final vote

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet celebrated the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passing the Water Resources Development Act of 2024 (WRDA 2024), including Colorado priorities they fought to include. The WRDA is passed every two years to authorize projects that address water management, flood control, ecosystem restoration, and long-term clean water priorities.

“Floods and droughts alike strain Colorado’s water infrastructure,” said Hickenlooper. “These investments will equip our communities to build stronger, more reliable waterways and healthier ecosystems.”

“As Colorado communities face a hotter and drier future, we need to continue to invest in our water infrastructure. I’m grateful that these projects received bipartisan support in today’s Senate Committee vote. I’ll keep working to move these projects and funding through Congress so we can protect Colorado’s vital waterways and resources for the next generation,” said Bennet.

Specifically, WRDA 2024 includes the following new authorities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

  • $20 million authorized for El Paso County: Authorizes funds to help address a variety of water supply and stormwater management needs

  • Templeton Gap Levee, Mountain and Fountain Creeks Study: Authorizes a feasibility study on the ecosystem restoration of a 7-mile stretch of Monument and Fountain Creeks and the rehabilitation of the 2-mile-long Templeton Gap levee in Colorado Springs, which will promote water quality and mitigate flood risk

Hickenlooper and Bennet previously called on the committee to include these Colorado priorities in the biennial water bill.

In addition to the two projects formally included in WRDA 2024, Hickenlooper and Bennet also secured the following Colorado priorities:

  • South Platte River Projects: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Government Accountability Office will study ways to improve implementation of programs and permitting processes which could help speed completion of two projects to promote healthy waterways along the South Platte River and neighboring water systems in the Denver area
  • Increasing Federal Investment for Certain Projects: Increases the federal share for assistance from the USACE from $10 million to $15 million for the majority of the agency’s Continuing Authorities Programs (CAPs). The CAPs authorize USACE to participate in smaller-scale projects, such as projects to reduce flood damages and restore aquatic ecosystems
  • Dam Safety: The committee voted to reauthorize the National Dam Safety Program to continue the repair and removal of dams classified as high-hazard potential
  • Alamosa Levee: While not included in WRDA 2024, Army Corps officials have agreed to conduct and fund an initial assessment of the Alamosa levee this summer using existing authorities, which is a key step towards rehabilitation of that critical infrastructure

The legislation now heads to the Senate floor for a final vote.


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