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Hickenlooper, Bennet Request Funding for Arkansas Valley Conduit in Fiscal Year 2023 Budget

May 5, 2022

In Letter to Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senators Request Over $10 Million to Help Bring Clean Drinking Water to Colorado Communities

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet requested continued funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget. In their letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Hickenlooper and Bennet ask for funding in line with the over $10 million proposed in President Joe Biden’s budget. 

“The Arkansas Valley Conduit is a planned 130-mile water-delivery system from the Pueblo Dam to communities throughout the Arkansas River Valley in Southeast Colorado,” wrote Hickenlooper and Bennet in their letter to Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and Ranking Member John Kennedy. “The Conduit is the final phase of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which Congress authorized in 1962.”

They continued: “Stakeholders have worked to finish the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project since Congress first authorized it. Annual funding, like the $10.059 million included in our request for FY23, is an opportunity to shorten the construction timeline for the Conduit and allows federal drinking water standards to be met more quickly providing Coloradans with a secure and safe supply of water.”

This letter comes after Hickenlooper and Bennet helped secure $10.05 million in continued funding for the AVC in the recent FY22 omnibus funding bill. Once this project is complete, it will help bring clean drinking water to over 50,000 Coloradans in over 40 rural communities. Hickenlooper and Bennet will continue working in Washington to ensure communities have the resources needed to complete this vital project for the region.

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.

Dear Chairwoman Feinstein and Ranking Member Kennedy: 

We write to request funding for the Bureau of Reclamation in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) to continue the on-schedule planning and construction of Colorado’s Arkansas Valley Conduit project (the Conduit). Accordingly, we request continued investment in this project, in line with the $10.059 million provided in the President’s FY23 Budget. 

The Arkansas Valley Conduit is a planned 130-mile water-delivery system from the Pueblo Dam to communities throughout the Arkansas River Valley in Southeast Colorado. The Conduit is the final phase of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which Congress authorized in 1962. Upon completion, it will help bring clean drinking water to more than 50,000 people in over 40 communities in this rural, underserved region of our state.

Stakeholders have worked to finish the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project since Congress first authorized it. Annual funding, like the $10.059 million included in our request for FY23, is an opportunity to shorten the construction timeline for the Conduit and allows federal drinking water standards to be met more quickly providing Coloradans with a secure and safe supply of water.

We join the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the State of Colorado, and the numerous local water providers in support of the Administration’s FY23 Budget Request for the Arkansas Valley Conduit. These funds would allow stakeholders to partner with the Bureau of Reclamation to perform and maintain on-time delivery of pre-construction activity including updating environmental documents, design activity, contract negotiation, land acquisition, and right of way work. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request. 

Sincerely,

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