December 2012


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SDS Year-End Progress Report

The Southern Delivery System (SDS) being built to provide water to Colorado Springs, Pueblo West, Security and Fountain is completing its second year of construction with significant progress and financial projections anticipating project completion at $68 million under budget.

Regional businesses continue to benefit from work on SDS with approximately $158 million awarded in prime construction contracts to southern Colorado contractors – making good on the commitment that SDS would stimulate local economies and provide hundreds of construction jobs. Nearly 170 Colorado businesses have performed work on SDS to date.

More than half of the pipe needed for the project has been installed, including nearly all the pipe required in Pueblo County. 2012 also saw the completion of the North Outlet Works connection at Pueblo Dam.  The starting point for SDS, the new North Outlet Works was successfully tested last summer.

One of the most important accomplishments for SDS was the completion of half a million hours of work with no “lost time” safety incidents. The SDS team continues to emphasize safety as a top priority in working with contractors to construct this historic project.


What’s Ahead?


With the design of the water treatment plant completed and raw-water pump stations design nearly finished, SDS is on track to begin construction on these project components in 2013. The water treatment plant is the largest and most complex component of the SDS infrastructure. Also on tap for next year is continued pipeline construction in El Paso County, work to address erosion and sedimentation on Fountain Creek, and continued land acquisition for completion of the project.

“The timing of SDS could not be more important given the drought conditions we are facing and water needs to support a recovering economy,” said John Fredell, SDS Program Director. “SDS will enable us to supply the water our southern Colorado communities need well into the future.”


New Study Underscores Need for SDS


The Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study published last week projects significant water supply and demand imbalances throughout the Colorado River Basin and adjacent areas over the next 50 years. Colorado Springs residents are among some 40 million westerners who rely on this river for their drinking water.


The study concluded that within 50 years, the Western states' annual water deficit could reach 3.2 million acre-feet — and may be as high as 8 million acre feet, depending on how factors such as population growth, long-term drought, and climate change affect water supply and demand. (An acre-foot sustains about two families of four for a year.)


Approximately 70 percent of the water Colorado Springs currently uses comes from the Colorado River Basin. SDS will diversify our supply by physically bringing water in from the Arkansas Basin (Pueblo), while our existing conveyance system relies mainly on imports from the Colorado River. Once complete in 2016, SDS will deliver our water stored in Pueblo Reservoir, which sources include Arkansas River basin, Fryingpan basin and Colorado River basin water and the reuse of this water.



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