Will federal funds flow to Colorado water projects?
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter attempted to stop funding water projects, including those in Colorado.
But the projects are now mostly funded through local rates or taxpayers.
After 40 years of financial drought from Washington, there is now a renewed interest in funding water projects.
But, water especially has become top of mind for both politicians and the public after variable weather has brought challenges to the nation’s water infrastructure through droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and massive snowfall.
A new study shows $4.6 trillion is required to address the country’s infrastructure needs over the next decade.
Assuming there is $100 billion for water out of President Trump’s $1 trillion proposal, Colorado should qualify for at least $1 billion just based on its population.
Those funds could be a catalyst to attract other state funds to jump-start the overdue investment in new projects.
Intense competition for the funds will come from other states with larger populations and well-placed congressional delegations.
The Colorado State Water Plan has identified $3 billion to $6 billion in new projects and programs needed by 2050 to serve a near doubling of the population.
At least half of the amount would be locally raised, but new infrastructure funding from D.C. could be a catalyst to get the process moving.