Two local governments are close to reaching an agreement on a water deal that could bring more water to Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Springs City Council approved plans for the Southern Delivery System on Tuesday night. This is being called a historic agreement. And the people who brokered the deal say both sides got what they wanted.
After years of political squabbling, officials from Colorado Springs and Pueblo have reached an important agreement on water. "We know that this is a region and Southern Colorado has to work together to make things work and we're behind that 100 percent," says Colorado Springs mayor Lionel Rivera.
For Pueblo, it means a guaranteed amount of water in the Arkansas River that will allow a kayak course to be built to attract more tourists. For Colorado Springs, the agreement means the city is one step closer to being able to build the Southern Delivery System. That is an additional raw water supply for the city, as well as Fountain and Security.
Colorado Springs currently owns more water than it can pump from the mountains to the city. The 43-mile long pipeline is seen as the solution. "That's our objective; to provide water a reliable water supply for the next few decades," says Gary Bostrom with Colorado Springs Utilities.
It's expected to bring enough water to keep up with Colorado Springs’ growth until 2040. The pipeline will also help the city deal with future dry spells.
"If the Southern Delivery System is built---when the next drought happens, we will be in a better position to provide water to our community,"
The plan still has a couple of hurdles to clear before it can become reality. Construction is expected to begin in 2006 with completion in 2009.
The Pueblo City Council will hear more public comment next week, and it will be on their formal agenda February 23rd.