DENVER (AP) – Colorado has finalized a contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to buy water from the Animas-La Plata Project.

Colorado lawmakers had authorized paying $36 million for the state’s allocation of 10,460 acre-feet from the water storage and delivery project in southwest Colorado. Money for the final payment will be available after July 1.

The contract announced by the state Wednesday makes Colorado part of a group that will operate and maintain the project.

The Animas-La Plata Project fulfills a water rights settlement between the federal government and tribes, but it also will provide water for other entities. Partners include the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute tribes, the Navajo Nation, the San Juan Water Commission, the La Plata Conservancy District, and the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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