The La Plata West Water Authority is an independent political subdivision created by the Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District and the La Plata Water Conservancy District. The Authority will continue a long history of work to provide a domestic water supply in rural southwest La Plata County. Many area residents, including Fred Kroeger, began working on this project as part of the ALP project in 1959. Federal government and local water districts have also been contributing to the effort for decades.
The Authority contracted with EPC Corporation to design and build the intake structure. The design stage was completed in November 2008 and construction began in early December of 2008 and was completed in July of 2009 prior
to water rising to the lower portal elevation. The intake structure is critical to providing access to the ALP water supply.
The Authority has worked closely with the Bureau of Reclamation and other government agencies to ensure that the project was appropriately reviewed and complies with all appurtenant regulations. The rural water system was
evaluated as a viable use of ALP waters in the Animas La Plata Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The intake structure project was issued all necessary permits and environmental approvals prior to construction on BOR land.
Funding for the $6 million intake structure has been provided from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe, the Colorado Water Conservation Board Statewide Entity andSouthwest Basin Roundtable, the Southwest Water Conservation District, and the Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District. The Tribes requested and obtained monies from their Resource Funds for the project. These Funds were appropriated for the Tribes as part of the Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act Amendments of 2000, and are designated for use in partnership with non-Tribal entities in the area. The Colorado Water Resource and Power Development Authority has assisted the Authority by providing a bridge loan, which was repaid when the Resource Funds were released.