Ute water bill continues progress

CNJ staff

WASHINGTON — The House Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed legislation Thursday that would authorize the federal government to build a pipeline that will carry water to several communities in Curry, Roosevelt and Quay counties.

The bill, which now heads to the full House, would authorize the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to spend up to $327 million over a 10-year period to assist the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority. The water will come from the Ute Reservoir, which was built on the Canadian River in 1959 as a sustainable water supply for eastern New Mexico.

The U.S. Senate is also scheduled to vote on an similar bill.

If the legislation passes, the federal government would pay for 75 percent of the cost of the project. The state will pay 25 percent of the $432 project and the local governments will pay 15 percent.