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New Funding to benefit SMAF


Reprinted by permission

Funding to benefit north Huerfano County reservoir passes appropriations

July 28, 2023

in Trinidad Chronicle-News

Benjamin Mandile, Reporter

Huerfano County water infrastructure is projected to receive federal funding after the House Appropriations Committee approved over $1.5 million for the Huerfano County Water Conservancy District, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s office announced.

The funding, which will be used to support a water augmentation facility improvement project 1.5 miles west of Gardner, is part of some $19.7 million approved across the Third Congressional District focused on water and transportation infrastructure.

“I’m excited to announce that the House Appropriations Committee has approved over $19.7 million for 10 important water and infrastructure projects that I requested be funded in Colorado’s Third District,” U.S. Rep. Boebert, who has previously slammed congressionally

directed spending, said in a statement. “These include important resources for expanding water storage, improving water quality, funding water treatment plants, building new water supply lines, reducing congestion on I-70 and bui


lding roads and bridges…While this is great news and we are in a strong position with these projects being included with base bills, I will not rest until funding for these 10 important water and infrastructure projects is signed into law.”

The committee approved $1.5 million out of the $2 million requested.

“Funding for the Huerfano County Water Storage Project will be used to fortify the bank of Sheep Mountain Reservoir, an important augmentation facility…” Boebert’s office said in a statement. “…Fortifying this reservoir will increase available water storage.”



The reservoir, completed in 2021, requires stabilization due to “abnormally” high winds and wave run up that have impacted the upper portion of the reservoir, according to a March fact sheet released by the HCWCD. The conditions are threatening the stability of the reservoir’s liner and the augmentation reservoir’s storage capacity.

According to the fact sheet, the project is projected to cost some $2.1 million and will be completed in two phases.

The project will include adding riprap for erosive protection and adding filter material during the first phase, while the second phase will see the same process once water levels drop.

“In this water-short region of southern Colorado, the benefit to the community of the reservoir stabilization project is a water storage structure that can be relied upon and used to its fill potential in the decades to come.”

The HCWCD, who did not respond to a request for comment, said that the water stored supports homeowner associations, pond owners, commercial businesses, Huerfano County Road & Bridge and Gardner School during spring and winter months when other resources are unavailable.

“From a statewide perspective, fortifying Sheep Mountain Reservoir plays a part in securing water storage and drought resiliency, both called out in the Colorado Water Plan as critical strategies toward a sustainable water future for Colorado.”


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