Bennet: Senate Approves $5 Million in Funding to Finally Begin Work on Arkansas Valley Conduit

Funding Passes the Senate As Part of Energy and Water Appropriations Bill - Measure Now Moves to President's Desk

Bennet: We Are One, Significant Step Closer to Making the Vision of the Arkansas Valley Conduit a Reality

Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today announced Senate approval of $5 million to finally begin work on the Arkansas Valley Conduit as part of the final Energy & Water Appropriations bill. The first round of Conduit funding will be used for the environmental analysis, planning and design. The bill will now move to the President's desk for his signature.

"The people of southeastern Colorado have fought long and hard to make the vision of the Arkansas Valley Conduit a reality. Today, we are closer than ever to honoring a promise made to them nearly half-a-century ago," Bennet said. "Forty-seven years ago, President Kennedy proclaimed this project ‘an investment in the future of this country.' Finally, we can begin making that investment in earnest."

"Thanks to the strong support and leadership of Representatives John Salazar, Betsy Markey, and Senator Mark Udall, we can begin work on the Arkansas Valley Conduit," Bennet continued. "This is a significant step forward but we also remain committed to making sure funding for the Conduit continues to flow in the years to come."

Earlier this year, Congress passed legislation authorizing the construction of the Conduit that was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Bennet, Markey, Salazar and Senator Mark Udall requested funding for the project earlier this year.

"The Arkansas Valley Conduit is an important project that will deliver water to southeastern Colorado," said Senator Byron Dorgan, Chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which provided funding for the project. "Senator Bennet was tireless in his advocacy for this project, and his commitment to this water investment will improve the quality of life for the people of Colorado."

The Arkansas Valley Conduit (Conduit) is designed to provide clean drinking water to approximately 40 cities, towns and water providers in the lower Arkansas River Valley. The Conduit will begin at Pueblo Reservoir, travel east approximately 140 miles, delivering water to the various communities along the way. These communities are in dire need of a source of water that will help them comply with the Clean Drinking Water Act in a manner that they can afford. Every community that will receive water from the Conduit is currently rated below the 85 percent level of Average Household Income.