High Standards of Environmental and Social Responsibility 

Experts agree that NISP meets high standards of environmental and social responsibility.

  • Water projects in Colorado are subject to strict environmental laws and regulations. Experts analyzed 16 individual project concepts with 215 potential elements and agreed that NISP is the best solution to supply Northern Colorado with this critical resource.
  • Concluding a multi-year study in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2018, which proved that NISP is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way to meet Northern Colorado’s future water needs.
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife approved NISP’s Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan, which commits Northern Water to countless project elements that will benefit stream flows, wildlife, and the natural environment we all enjoy.
  • We’re proud of our commitment to approximately $60 million in environmental mitigation and enhancements that contributed to the State of Colorado’s Water Quality Division finding that “no significant degradation is expected as part of the project.”

Protecting the Poudre River

NISP includes multiple features that will protect the Poudre River and our environment:

River Stream Flow Commitments
  • Year-round water releases from Glade Reservoir, which will improve stream flows and eliminate existing dry-up points in the Poudre River through downtown Fort Collins
  • Leaving more water in the Poudre River when flows are less than 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the summer and less than 25 cfs in the winter
  • Adjusting operations to allow peak flows to remain in the Poudre River in 2/3 of years; equivalent to as much as two billion gallons in some years
  • During 90 percent of years, little to no diversions will take place during peak flow conditions 
Poudre River Stream Channel Commitments 
  • Making trout smile by building four bypass/fish passage structures through Fort Collins and one at the Poudre Valley Canal diversion at the canyon mouth
  • More than 2.4 miles of stream channel improvements on two reaches 
  • Commitments of nearly $8 million for channel and riparian vegetation improvements
Other Commitments
  • Wildlife habitat conservation covering about 1,400 acres around Glade Reservoir
  • Wetlands and endangered species mitigation
  • Recreation/fishery benefits at Glade Reservoir
Poudre River near Fort Collins, CO
Poudre River