The Loop renewable water project in El Paso County gets a $4 million injection of federal ARPA funds

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
The Callahan Reservoir in the southern part of El Paso County belongs to Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District.

A handful of water utilities in El Paso County are behind The Loop project, which could eventually help address future growth by serving more than half of the region’s population outside of Colorado Springs. Local water officials say a $4 million grant from El Paso County–funded by the American Rescue Plan Act–will be used for engineering and financial planning starting this winter, and also to begin acquiring the necessary easements for the infrastructure at a later date.

The total project cost is estimated to be between $160 million and $200 million, but there are still a lot of variables to nail down, including construction and financing costs, which have been increasing and volatile recently. 

Project participants hope to finalize documents to create a water authority to manage the project soon. Next year, they'd like to get design and financing in place and start construction in 2024. Planners say they could potentially have water flowing around the Loop in 2025.

Much of the water for the communities that would be served by the proposed Loop system comes from wells drilled into a geological formation called the Denver Basin. This water is considered non-renewable and is affected by the demands of a growing population in the region. The Loop proposal would allow Denver Basin water flowing in Monument and Fountain Creeks to be treated, recycled and reused. A preliminary study was completed earlier this year to evaluate the feasibility of the project.