Senate Committee Approves Bennet's Arkansas Valley Conduit and Bolts Ditch Bills

Bipartisan Bills will Help Colorado Communities Better Manage Water Resources

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to approve two water resource bills cosponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Bennet. One bill would allow the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District to more easily pay for the construction costs of the Arkansas Valley Conduit that will provide clean drinking water to the area east of Pueblo. The other bill would allow the Town of Minturn to use its existing water rights to secure water for storage in Bolts Lake by authorizing a special access permit for the Bolts Ditch headgate within the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. Senator Cory Gardner has sponsored both bills.

"With increasing populations and persistent drought in Colorado and throughout the West, water is increasingly becoming one of our most valuable resources," Bennet said. "Both of these bipartisan bills will allow us to better conserve and manage our water helping to ensure that all of our communities have access to clean drinking water. We are pleased that these important measures made it out of committee today, and we look forward to continuing to work with Senator Gardner to make them law."

Background on Bennet's bills:

  • The Arkansas Valley Conduit bill offers more flexibility to the Southeastern Water Conservancy District by allowing it to more easily pay for its portion of the Conduit's construction. The bill will help the District move closer to the project's construction phase.
  • When Holy Cross Wilderness Area was designated by Congress in 1980, Bolts Ditch was inadvertently left off of the list of existing water facilities. This bill would authorize special use of the Bolts Ditch headgate and the segment of the Bolts Ditch within the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, allowing the Town of Minturn to use its existing water right to fill Bolts Lake.