What is NISP?

 NISP Overview

NISP is a regional water supply project coordinated by Northern Water on behalf of 15 Northern Front Range water providers. Its goal is to provide participating water providers with approximately 40,000 acre-feet of new, reliable water supply each year.
At its most basic, NISP would store excess water currently leaving the state in years of abundance for use in meeting future water supply needs.
The proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project would include:

  • Glade Reservoir
  • South Platte Water Conservation Project (Galeton Reservoir)

Future site of Glade Reservoir northwest of Fort
Collins (view facing south)

How NISP Works
During wet times, when the Glade water right is in priority, the project will divert water at the existing Poudre Valley Canal near the mouth of Poudre Canyon. This will occur during periods of high flow, such as above average snowmelt years or during large rain events.

The maximum diversion rate would be limited to approximately 1,000 cubic foot per second. The Poudre Valley Canal will carry water to the Glade Forebay Reservoir, where it will be pumped up into Glade Reservoir. 

The South Platte Water Conservation Project and its Galeton Reservoir will operate as a key component of the Northern Integrated Supply Project.

South Platte water will be pumped to Galeton Reservoir during winter and spring months. During the irrigation season water will be released to the two largest ditch companies in the Poudre Basin – New Cache Irrigating and Larimer and Weld.

Through a series of exchanges the ditch companies will receive about one quarter of their total supply from Galeton Reservoir and its pipelines while a like amount of water will be diverted upstream at the Poudre Valley Canal and stored in Glade Reservoir.

When the SPWCP water rights are in priority, water will be diverted from the South Platte River for storage in Galeton Reservoir or for direct use from irrigation canals.

How NISP works: Click the arrow in this illustration to play the NISP animation.

Poudre Valley CanalThe water to fill Glade would be diverted from the Poudre River using the already existing Poudre Valley Canal. No new structures will be on the river and no project facilities would be built within the wild and scenic Poudre Canyon. The canal may be lined and improved to allow the NISP water to be carried into the Glade forebay reservoir.

South Platte Water Conservation Project (Galeton Reservoir) Galeton Reservoir would be located east of Ault and northeast of Greeley. It would hold approximately 45,000 acre-feet of water at capacity.

The diversion at the South Platte River downstream of Greeley would have a pumping capacity of 200 cfs. Galeton water would be delivered to two agricultural irrigation companies (New Cache la Poudre Irrigating and Larimer and Weld) in exchange for a portion of the Poudre River water they currently use, which will be diverted into Glade Reservoir. This exchange would provide approximately 60 percent of the NISP yield and is water that has historically been diverted.

Glade ReservoirThis reservoir would be located northwest of Fort Collins along a current stretch of U.S. Highway 287 north of Ted’s Place (the intersection of Highway 287 and Highway 14). It would be approximately 5 miles long, 260 feet deep and have a capacity to store 170,000 acre-feet of water, or slightly larger than Horsetooth Reservoir, which holds about 156,000 acre-feet.
 Proposed Glade Reservoir map NISP - Printable PDF Map
Printable PDF map shows NISP: two preferred alternative reservoirs, proposed U.S. 287 highway realignment and pipelines for ditch company water exchanges.
Click map to view it.