Green River Star -

By David Martin

Senator's bill impacts Fontenelle Reservoir


October 31, 2018

A bill passed in Washington, D.C., will impact the Fontenelle Reservoir.

Provisions in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 will allow for the expansion of water storage at the reservoir, as well as support other water projects throughout Wyoming. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso was one of the bill’s authors and its sponsor.

He is also the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works The act was passed by a 99-1 vote in the Senate Oct. 10, with the only dissenting vote coming from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

For Fontenelle, it would mean an expansion of between 100,000 and 200,000 acre-feet of water in the Colorado River Basin, of which Southwest Wyoming is a part. The project was outlined in Gov. Matt Mead’s 2015 Water Strategy.

The bill had wide support in Wyoming, as well as bipartisan support in the Senate. Mead’’s office issued a statement from the governor, who gave his support for the bill.

“I look forward to the swift passage of this legislation, and thank you for recognizing the importance of water infrastructure in the West,” Mead said.

Other groups, such as the Sierra Club and the American Petroleum Institute have also given their support for the bill.

According to Barrasso, the bill game about after President Donald Trump issued a public call in his State of the Union address to improve the country’s infrastructure. The bill itself took more than a year to complete and includes 15 Wyoming-specific projects.

Barrasso said the bill will have both a positive and meaningful impact on Wyoming.

He said the next infrastructure needs his committee will look at include surface and transportation, but doesn’t expect work on a bill to start until 2019.


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