Timeline created by durangoherald
  • Feasability study authorized

    Congress authorizes a feasablility study of the project through the Colorado River Storage Act of April 11, 1956.
  • Project found to be feasible

    U.S. Bureau of Reclamation finds the project to be "engineeringly sound and financially sound and feasible."
  • Congress authorizes construction of the A-LP Project

    Congress authorized construction of the A-LP Project as part of the Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968. A-LP was approved consisting of Howardsville Reservoir near Silverton, Hay Gulch Reservoir west of Durango and a diversion between Durango and Silverton including 48 miles of canals and tunnels. The projected water supply of nearly 191,200 acre-feet for irrigation, municipal and industrial use purposes in Colorado and New Mexico. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • New plan detailed

    A new project detailed by the Department of the Interior includes Ridges Basin and Southern Ute Reservoirs.
  • "Final Environmental Statement" released

    The Bureau of Reclamation released a Final Environmental Statement for the A-LP Project. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Cost-sharing arrangement

    The Department of the Interior accepts a cost-sharing arrangement that calls for state and local entities to provide 38 percent of the up-front funding for the Project.
  • Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement signed

    The Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Final Settlement Agreement was signed. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Congress passes Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act

    Congress passed the Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act to resolve the senior water rights claims of the Southern Ute Indian and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes. The Act allowed future development of the region and protected existing water uses. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Concern over Colorado Pikeminnow

    Based on new biological information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a draft biological opinion concluding that the project would jeopardize the existence of the Colorado pikeminnow. No reasonable and prudent project alternatives were identified at this time. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Sierra Club gives notice of intent to sue

    The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund files a Notice of Intent to sue citing compliance concerns relating to the Clean Water Act, NEPA and the Administrative Procedures Act. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Pikeminnow concern leads to reduced depletion

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Final Biological Opinion that contained a reasonable and prudent alternative that limited project water depletions from the Animas River to 57,100 acre-feet per year and included an endangered fish recovery program. The Biological Opinion lifted impediments to construction of the project.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony

    A groundbreaking ceremony is held near Durango. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Lawsuits halt construction

    The Four Corners Action Coalition, Sierra Club, Colorado Wildlife Federation, Taxpayers for the Animas River and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, represented by the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund file a lawsuit.
  • Construction stops pending impact statement

    Construction stops pending completion of a supplement to the 1980 Environmental Impact Statement
  • Injunction granted

    An injuction prohibits any ground-disturbing activities due to cultural resources.
  • Suit filed against EPA

    The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain ute Tribe and the Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District file suit against the EPA, claiming it is obstructing implementation of the Colorado Ute Mountain Water Rights Settlement Act.
  • Interior Secretary Babbitt meets about alternatives

    Colorado Governor Romer, Lt. Governor Schoettler and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt meet with supporters and opponents to address unresolved concerns and to gain consensus on future project alternatives. The meetings result in a "Stand Still" agreement with a number of pending litigations put on hold.
  • Department of Interior recommends A-LP Lite

    1998 %u2013 The Department of Interior recommended construction of a substantially scaled-down project. The scaled-down alternative was recommended as a means to address the Colorado Ute Indian Tribes%u2019 long-standing water right claims and to provide a solution for municipal and industrial water needs in the project area. The proposal eliminated irrigation and downsized the project to address the Endangered Species and Clean Water Act requirements.
  • Scaled down A-LP Lite gets green light

    Reclamation released EIS and Record of Decision identifying the scaled-down projectas the preferred alternative. Because this alternative would provide benefits to the Colorado Ute Indian Tribes that were not identical to those envisioned in the 1988 Settlement Act, it was recognized that Congressional authorization was needed to achieve final implementation.Congress authorized this with the Colorado Ute Settlement Act Amendments of 2000. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • September 11 attacks

    Terrorist attacks result in added security requirements.
  • Formal initiation of construction.

    2001 - Approval was granted by Reclamation%u2019s Commissioner John Keys to initiate construction on the A-LP Project and November 9, 2001 was established as the date of formal initiation of construction. Also, in 2001 the final design for thedam and pumping plant began.
  • Cultural resource mitigation begins

    2002 - Four major tasks were initiated. First, field work began on the cultural resource mitigation program. Second, construction began on the inlet conduit pipeline sleeve. Third, Weemuniche Construction Authority began constructing haul roads. Last, a final route selection for the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline was initiated. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Ridges Basin inlet conduit construction begins

    Stage 1 of construction on the inlet conduit to Ridges Basin Dam begins.
  • Ridges Basin Dam construction begins

    Construction of Ridges Basin Dam begins.
  • Cost goes up, timeline lengthens

    The update of the Project Construction Cost Estimate reveals a potential increase of project costs from approximately $338 million to $500 million. The schedule for completing the project moves from approximately 2009 to 2011. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • Durango Pump Plant construction begins

    Construction of the Durango Pump Plant begins.
  • Name changed to Lake Nighthorse

    Ridges Basin Reservoir was renamed Lake Nighthorse to honor retiring Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
    Durango Pumping Plant excavation, the intake structure, and fish bypass were substantially completed. source: Bureau of Reclamation
  • City invests $1 million in A-LP

    The Durango City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pay more than a million dollars toward the possible acquisition of water from the Animas-La Plata Project.Making the down payment does not mean the city will draw water from the reservoir, but it does ensure a better cost for buying into the project in 2011, when A-LP is expected to be completed.
  • District votes to buy A-LP water

    The Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District board voted Tuesday to buy 700 acre-feet of water from the Animas-La Plata Project for a drinking-water district in the southwest corner of La Plata County.
  • A-LP breakthrough

    A-LP breakthrough
    A 1,400-foot tunnel to control the outflow of water from Ridges Basin Reservoir, part of the Animas-La Plata Project, has been completed.
  • House committee earmarks $56M for A-LP project

    The Animas-La Plata Project increased its chances to keep momentum going Wednesday when the House Appropriations Committee earmarked $56 million for the project in the 2006 federal budget."The fight isn't over yet," Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., said in a news release. "We'll have to keep the pressure on so that this money gets approved by the full House next week."
  • Red-letter day for A-LP

    Red-letter day for A-LP
    Thirty-seven years ago Congress approved construction of the Animas-La Plata Project, a settlement of American Indian water-rights claims.
    Two hundred people gathered at the dam site southwest of Durango to watch workers spread three loads of impervious clay on the excavated floor of the reservoir as a symbol of the task ahead.
  • AL-P gets $56M for 2006 budget

    Congress on Wednesday put $56 million in the fiscal 2006 budget for the Animas-La Plata Project, $4 million more than recommended by the Bush administration. The fiscal year began Oct. 1."Considering all that's going on, it's good," A-LP board president Mark Langford said Monday. "But we had hoped for $60 million."
  • Funding woes to delay A-LP completion

    Uncertain funding and inflation have delayed the completion of the Animas-La Plata Project as much as 2 1/2 years, a Bureau of Reclamation engineer said Tuesday.The completion of the project in 2010 is unrealistic, Barry Longwell told Southwestern Water Conservation District board members.Latest estimates place completion of the project somewhere between the spring of 2012 to the spring of 2013.
  • A-LP pays $3M for condemned parcel of land

    The federal government will pay $3.02 million for 100-plus acres it is claiming in a condemnation process to advance construction of the Animas-La Plata Project.
  • Water system receives boost

    Conservation district to spend $20,000 to further study
    The Southwestern Water Conservation District again has given financial support to a plan to build a $102 million drinking-water system in southwestern La Plata County.
  • Progress at A-LP / Structure 75 percent complete

    Progress at A-LP / Structure 75 percent complete
    Ridges Basin Dam, which started as a hole in the ground in 2003, stood 165 feet high at 75 percent along, the most advanced component of the Animas-La Plata Project.
  • House earmarks $60M for A-LP

    The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $60 million for the Animas-La Plata Project in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.The allocation is $2 million more than requested in President Bush's budget, but short of the $63 million in the Senate version for the project.
  • Pipes in the ground

    Pipes in the ground
    Overall project 52% complete and so far $6.3M under estimated cost.
    "About three-quarters of the two-mile pipeline is in the ground," Rick Ehat, the Bureau of Reclamation project engineer, said on a tour led by him and project field engineer Allan Gates. "This pipe is 6 feet in diameter and made of steel because it's under pressure."
  • Lt. gov. views artifacts at A-LP

    Lt. gov. views artifacts at A-LP
    Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien is familiar with Southwest Colorado from campaigning, but she paid her first visit Wednesday to the Animas-La Plata Project.
    O'Brien's first stop was the office and warehouse of SWCA Environmental Consultants, which is winding up five years of work in Ridges Basin, which will be under water when the A-LP is completed. SWCA archaeologists have collected between 800,000 and 900,000 pieces of evidence of the prehistoric people who inhabited the basin southwest of Durango.
  • State plan would pay for A-LP park

    The state Department of Natural Resources announced plans Thursday to raise $3 million for a boat ramp and state park at Lake Nighthorse.
    The department offered a plan Thursday to funnel more money to state parks from taxes on oil and gas production. In the first year, $750,000 would go toward a boat ramp for the reservoir created by the Animas-La Plata Project south of Durango.
  • At A-LP, the dam is done

    At A-LP, the dam is done
    It took decades of planning and about two years to build, but on Friday, construction workers and longtime advocates of the Animas-La Plata Project celebrated their efforts at a topping-out ceremony for the Ridges Basin Dam.
    The dam stands 273 feet high.
  • City%u2019s plan would redirect sewage outflow

    In a no-discussion action, Durango city councilors took the first step in early December to redirect the outflow of the city's sewage-treatment plant into the Animas River farther downstream.Although the discharge from the plant has been treated to remove contaminants, city officials want to make sure the water being sucked into a new reservoir southwest of Durango stays clean.
  • A-LP project 97% complete

    A-LP project 97% complete
    Attending the ceremony were federal, state and local officials, members of three American Indian tribes, and Colorado and New Mexico residents who have followed the twists and turns of the A-LP - a settlement of water-right claims by the tribes - since it was authorized by Congress in 1968.
  • Water on the Dryside?

    Water on the Dryside?
    The latest promise of drinking water for the Dryside could be a mirage similar to the many Pat Greer has seen.
    "I'll believe water is here when I see it, and the county would have to redo its land-use code that now calls for one house on 35 acres."Greer was addressing the possible fallout of a La Plata West Water Authority plan announced last week to route water from southwest of Durango to a 250-square-mile area on Fort Lewis Mesa
  • Drilling requires heavy machinery

    Drilling requires heavy machinery
    The first order of business Monday for La Plata County commissioners Kelly Hotter and Wally White was a visit to the reservoir at Ridges Basin where construction has started on a project to supply drinking water to the southwest corner of the county known as the Dryside.
  • Local officials defend bill's earmarks

    The $410 billion spending bill approved by Congress last week has been derided as earmark-laden, but some local recipients say their appropriations are going to important projects and services.
    The Animas-La Plata Project will receive $5 million from the spending bill."The lion's share of that funding will be used for continuing and expanding construction efforts in New Mexico associated with the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline," said Rick Ehat, project construction engineer.
  • District suggests idea for A-LP recreation

    The water district took on the task of bringing recreation to Lake Nighthorse - the name given to a 120,000-acre-foot reservoir at Ridges Basin southwest of Durango - when Colorado State Parks, the logical manager of recreation, bowed out. The state agency has told local interests twice in the last year - once very recently - that it has no money for the undertaking, estimated at $20 million to $25 million.
  • Pumping begins

    The Bureau of Reclamation announced on it's website - With the flip of a switch on Monday, April 20, 2009, the Department of the Interior marked a historic milestone in construction of the Animas-La Plata Project with starting up the Durango Pumping Plant and the first storage of water for the customers of the project.