Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet continues to push for the construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit. He is cosponsoring a bill that allows the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District to more easily pay for its portion of the Conduit's construction costs. The bill will help the District move closer to the project's construction phase. The bill (S.2616) was introduced by Senator Cory Gardner.
"More than fifty years ago, the federal government made a commitment to the residents in southeast Colorado to build the Arkansas Valley Conduit and help deliver clean drinking water to dozens of communities," Bennet said. "We'll continue to pressure the Administration and Congress to fulfill that commitment. Congress should quickly pass this bipartisan bill and work with us to ensure this project stays on track."
Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has fought for more resources for the Conduit and to move its construction forward. He has led efforts within the Colorado delegation and personally spoken with officials in the Administration, including pushing for quick approval of the project's environmental study and urging Congressional and committee leaders to provide adequate resources for construction.
Last month he announced that he secured $2 million and is working to ensure another $3 million is included in the FY 2017 budget.
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, producers and municipalities throughout southeastern Colorado. Bennet and former Senator Mark Udall worked together to enact legislation in 2009 authorizing the construction of the Conduit, and have pushed ever since for funding to keep the project on schedule.