Colorado Springs and Pueblo hash out their water fight in the Pueblo newspaper

Things have taken a turn for the weird on the Pueblo Chieftain’s website today, where the southern Colorado newspaper has printed a story about U.S. Representative–and Senate candidate–Mark Udall’s efforts to stall a Colorado Springs water project.

Colorado Springs and Pueblo have long engaged in a bloody fight regarding Colorado Springs’ proposed Southern Delivery System, a pipeline that will transport Pueblo Dam water north to Colorado Springs. Udall sent a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal organization charged with conducting an environmental review of the project, asking to delay the project. He cited ongoing concerns that the Southern Delivery System will sully Pueblo’s Fountain Creek. And, of course, Colorado Springs leaders are pissed off.


But here comes the strange part. The Pueblo Chieftain has historically come down against the Southern Delivery System, particularly because its publisher, Bob Rawlings, is one of the most outspoken critics of the project in all of Colorado. Yet right above today’s Udall story on the Chieftain website, there is a Colorado Springs Utilities advertisement, which reads "Southern Delivery System. Get answers to your questions." The ad links to a Colorado Springs Utilities’ page, which says "Southern Delivery System. Our future depends on it," and explains precisely why that is the case. The ad is obviously meant to win over the hearts and minds of Puebloans so that Colorado Springs can finally build its pipeline. But the utilities company has a long way to go, especially if the Pueblo Chieftain readers are anything like the feisty, relentless Rawlings.

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Naomi Zeveloff

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