WASHINGTON – April 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The House of Representatives has adopted Congressman Scott Tipton’s (R-CO) amendment to direct $2 million in additional resources to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) for ongoing water delivery projects including the Arkansas Valley Conduit, which once completed would provide a reliable supply of clean drinking water to Southeast Colorado. The amendment, which was attached to H.R. 2028, the FY2016 Energy & Water Appropriations Act, does not create any new federal spending. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) joined Tipton in support of the amendment. The House is expected to pass H.R. 2028 this week.
The text of the amendment is available HERE
Prior to passage, Tipton made the case for his amendment on the floor of the House. Video of Tipton’s statement can be seen HERE .
Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk. I’d like to thank Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur for their collaborative effort in putting together this bill and Chairman Simpson, I want you to know how much I appreciate your support of my floor amendment last year reprogramming funds within the Bureau of Reclamation’s Water Conservation and Delivery fund to advance and complete ongoing work that will provide efficient delivery of clean drinking water from an existing multi-purpose reclamation project as authorized by Congress in 1962.
As you know, water is the lifeblood of the Western United States and absolutely critical to the vitality of our communities and local economies.
Today, I am offering a simple amendment that will bolster the Bureau of Reclamation’s Water and Related Resources account by $2 million dollars, allowing the Bureau of Reclamation to proceed with ongoing work on water supply delivery projects at a more efficient pace to reach our shared goals in meeting increased water demands by developing and maximizing clean water supplies.
In Colorado, as in the case throughout the West, we have similar needs to move forward with engineering design-work on the authorized features of existing Reclamation projects. These projects improve water supply quality, address water shortage issues, improve conservation measures and stabilize water supplies.
In the western United States, water is an economic driver. In order to attract more economic growth– either in business or agriculture – every industry in the west is dependent upon an ample and safe water supply.
This amendment will provide the Bureau of Reclamation increased funding to continue with these types of projects while simultaneously improving public health and protecting the environment.
These projects are critically important during drought years so that water is appropriately allocated for both municipal and agricultural uses.
The Bureau’s budget has been previously used for the California Central Valley Project, the Washington State Yakima Basin Water Enhancement Project, the Arkansas Valley Conduit in Colorado, and the Lewiston Orchard Project in the Chairman’s home state of Idaho. It is our hope that this amendment gives the Bureau of Reclamation the resources it needs to advance vital projects that resolve water shortage issues in the West while enhancing regional development and promoting job growth.
In March, Tipton led a bipartisan letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee requesting sufficient funding in the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to the Water and Related Resources account to ensure the USBR satisfies its commitments to continue funding for authorized projects which have fully completed environmental compliance. The Arkansas Valley Conduit meets those criteria. See a pdf of the letter HERE.
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. Members of the Colorado delegation have fought annually for the necessary resources to move the project forward.