U.S. Senator Gardner Helps Break Ground on the Arkansas Valley Conduit
Project will deliver clean drinking water for 50,000 Coloradans
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) helped break ground on the Arkansas Valley Conduit project in Pueblo, finally beginning construction on the project for the first time since Congress authorized it nearly six decades ago. In February, Gardner announced he secured $28 million of funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit project, provided by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation’s Fiscal Year 2020 work plan.
“I was honored to secure the $28 million in funding to finally begin construction. The communities of the Lower Arkansas Valley deserve clean drinking water, which the Arkansas Valley Conduit will supply for generations to come. It’s exciting to see dirt moving on this project for the first time since Congress authorized it and President Kennedy promised completion nearly six decades ago,” said Senator Gardner. “I want to thank President Trump, Office of Management and Budget Director Vought, Department of the Interior Secretary Bernhardt, the leadership of the Bureau of Reclamation, and everyone in Southeast Colorado who worked tirelessly to make today’s groundbreaking possible. I will keep fighting to ensure the federal government upholds its funding commitment until the project is completed.”
Currently there are approximately 50,000 individuals in Southeast Colorado who have contaminated groundwater. The Arkansas Valley Conduit project, which was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1962, will deliver clean drinking water to local communities across the region upon completion.
- In March 2020, Gardner questioned Interior Secretary David Bernhard about funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
- In February 2020, Gardner announced he secured $28 million of funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit, to be provided by the U.S 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 Bernhardt expressing 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.