What They Are Saying: Leaders Applaud Gardner-Secured Arkansas Valley Conduit Funding
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced he secured $28 million of funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) project last week, which will be provided by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation’s Fiscal Year 2020 work plan.
What they are saying about Senator Gardner’s successful efforts to secure funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit:
“The AVC is a critical piece of infrastructure that will deliver clean and reliable water to rural communities of southeastern Colorado so they can thrive and grow,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, “I am pleased that through hard work and collaboration at the local, state, and federal level, Reclamation and our partners are positioned to move quickly toward construction so that we can deliver water to the communities of the Arkansas Valley.”
“Access to clean and reliable water is critical to Coloradan families, and for years, the Colorado delegation has worked to secure funding for the AVC Project. Completion of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project has been a top priority during my time in Congress and I am grateful the BoR has made good on its word to prioritize the needs of economically distressed regions, especially those in Colorado. I am proud to have worked with the local water conservation districts, my colleagues in the House and Senate, and the members of the Trump Administration to get this project closer to the finish line,” said Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO).
“Colorado is known for its crystal-clear streams, but for nearly 50,000 people in Southeastern Colorado, access to fresh drinking water has been a challenge. That’s why I’m extremely grateful to announce that after years of fighting for clean drinking water in the Lower Arkansas Valley, we have secured $28 million in funding to start construction on the Arkansas Valley Conduit. Thank you to Interior Secretary Bernhardt and the Bureau of Reclamation for working with us to secure funding for this important project,” said Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO).
“We are very grateful and thankful for the work of Senator Gardner and our delegation in securing this funding. This amount of money is a real milestone in the history of the project. I think this is a wonderful example of bi-partisan support and partnership of federal, state and local officials that is needed to secure a safe drinking water supply, not only for the people of Southeastern Colorado, but for every rural American,”said Bill Long, President of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District.
“It’s emotional from a standpoint that the (Arkansas River) Valley has been waiting for years and as everybody that lives in the country, I think they deserve the right to have high-quality water. This starts that,” said James Broderick, Executive Director of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District.
"A project like this – any water project – takes a long time to get going. This one shouldn't have taken this long, but now it seems like we're going to be able to get moving,” said Chris Woodka, Senior Policy and Issues Manager for the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District.“We owe thanks to our entire congressional delegation. They have all worked hard on the project. Gardner really worked hard on it. He has been committed since he was a staffer.”
“We’ve been waiting for this for years and years and we are going to see some movement,” said Kevin Karney, Chairman of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s Arkansas Valley Conduit Committee.
“We should be proud of our congressional delegation. It was a bipartisan effort over decades. My hat is off to the entire delegation for getting this done,” said Greg Felt, Chairman of the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners and Member of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, who was recently appointed to the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
“Despite being authorized by President Kennedy nearly sixty years ago, Southern Colorado’s water needs have been put on the back burner year after year by the federal government,” said Colorado State Senator Larry Crowder, whose district covers the majority of area affected by the project. “Thanks to Senator Gardner’s leadership, we will finally see those promises begin to be fulfilled. This is a big deal for dozens of communities in my district and I’m excited to see the Arkansas Valley Conduit finally move forward.”
“Water is of extreme importance to Colorado’s industries, especially agriculture. I’m very grateful that Senator Gardner stepped up and delivered,” said Colorado State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg. “Water affects everything we do and the Arkansas Valley Conduit will help expand access to clean water across Southern Colorado. That’s a huge win for all of Colorado.”
In the News:
“U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner nodded and held his hands together Thursday as he and members of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District watched an archive video of former President John F. Kennedy talking in Pueblo in 1962 about a pipe dream that now is becoming an actual pipeline in 2020,” The Pueblo Chieftain: Gardner touts conduit funding during Pueblo visit
“It's the best good news that southeastern Colorado has gotten in a long time. The news that Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner had secured $28 million to begin construction of the long-awaited Arkansas Valley Conduit is drawing happy reactions in the Lower Arkansas Valley,” Colorado Politics: Sen. Cory Gardner announces $28 million funding to begin clean drinking water project in the Lower Arkansas Valley.
“The Arkansas Valley Conduit, a 130-mile water pipeline that would serve as many as 40 communities and 50,000 people east of Pueblo, is receiving a major financial boost to begin construction, decades after the project was authorized by the U.S. Congress. U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., announced Tuesday that he has secured $28 million in funding for the conduit project,” The Pueblo Chieftain: Arkansas Valley Conduit gets $28M in funding.
“The project would carry potable water through the above ground conduit from Pueblo to Lamar. The cost, $360 million, was made several years ago. Details on the actual construction process will be forthcoming at a later date. Senator Gardner expressed his convictions that the rural areas of Colorado should never be given lesser priority than the Front Range when construction projects of this nature stand to benefit the entire population of the state,” The Prowers Journal: Gardner Secures $28 Million for the Arkansas Valley Conduit.
“Although the cities along the Arkansas Valley, Las Animas and La Junta, have installed Reverse Osmosis water plants to remove contamination, Selenium and other toxic metals occur naturally in the soil and cannot be completely eliminated. The Conduit is a solution to the problem of drinking water contamination in the Arkansas Valley,” La Junta Tribune-Democrat: $28 million freed up for AV Conduit construction.
“Once complete, water from Pueblo Reservoir would be routed to six counties — Pueblo, Otero, Crowley, Bent, Kiowa and Prowers. Drinking water in the region has tested positive for naturally-occurring radioactive materials,” KRCC: After Nearly Six Decades, Funds Approved To Start Construction On The Arkansas Valley Conduit.
“U.S. Senator Cory Gardner is was in the Steel City on Thursday to discuss an announcement nearly six decades in the making. Back on Tuesday Senator Gardner announced that he had secured $28 million in funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit project. The funding stems from the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation and comes after months of requests from Gardner, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Reps. Ken Buck and Scott Tipton,” KRDO: Southern Colorado water pipeline project receives $28M.
“This project stands as an example of what can happen when people put aside their differences and work together toward a common goal,” La Junta Tribune-Democrat: Our View: Quenching a decades-old thirst.
- In February 2020, Gardner announced he secured $28 million of funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) project, which will be provided by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation’s Fiscal Year 2020 work plan.
- In December 2019, Gardner secured language in the year-end spending package that continues to advocate for the construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit, and allowed for Bureau of Reclamation’s flexibility to use additional funding towards the project in Fiscal Year 2020.
- In October 2019, Senators Gardner and Bennet and Representatives Tipton and Buck wrote to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardtexpressing that funding the Arkansas Valley Conduit is a top priority for them and requested the administration support the project.
- At Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s confirmation hearing in May 2017, Gardner spoke about the importance of the Arkansas Valley Conduit and secured Bernhardt’s commitment to working with the Colorado delegation to finance the Arkansas Valley Conduit.
- In July 2016, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved a bill Gardner authored that would extend greater flexibility to the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District by allowing the maximum use of miscellaneous revenue collected from the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project to be immediately reinvested into the Arkansas Valley Conduit once construction begins.
- In May 2016, Bent County Commissioner and President of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Board of Directors Bill Long testified at the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee’s Water and Power Subcommittee hearing in support of Gardner’s legislation to extend greater flexibility to the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and support the Arkansas Valley Conduit.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
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