Water Pipeline Costs Pegged at $1 Billion

Staff | September 28, 2010

Pueblo, CO— Engineers have estimated that moving water from southern Colorado to El Paso County in a new pipeline would cost about $1 billion.

The proposed pipeline would take water from eastern Pueblo County or near Las Animas and bring it as far north as Monument for the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, which serves seven water districts in El Paso County. Steve Price of Boyle Engineering told the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District the cost is so high because the water must be pumped and treated to reduce its salinity. However, he still said the project was economically and technically feasible, the Associated Press reported.

The water would be treated by reverse osmosis to reduce the water's salinity, and the brine would have to be removed. Water users would pay an extra $9 to $10 per 1,000 gallons on top of the $6 to $7 per 1,000 gallons they pay now.

The report by Boyle Engineering found that the cost of the pipeline would be in line with other Front Range water projects of similar size.

Colorado Springs and three other cities have proposed building another pipeline tapping water from the Pueblo Dam. The $1.1-billion Southern Delivery System project still needs to get approval from the Bureau of Reclamation and permits from other agencies.