Water Quality

A Commitment to the Health of the Poudre River

In January 2020, the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approved Northern Water’s application for what is known as a 401 Water Quality Certification. Following a long period of careful study and monitoring, along with a robust process to incorporate public input, this certification found that “no significant degradation is expected as part of (NISP).” 

The 401 certification comes as part of an ongoing, collaborative process that Northern Water has been engaged in over many years. Since 2015, Northern Water has collected hundreds of samples each year, investing approximately $450,000 annually into the Poudre River monitoring program. These efforts, among others, have included data collection and monitoring along the Poudre River, water quality and temperature modeling, examining potential NISP-related water quality and temperature impacts, and developing mitigation measures.

The data helps to evaluate possible changes in water quality associated with new water projects such as NISP, for example:

  • Existing data are used to support modeling efforts and detailed assessments to understand what affects water quality in the river and to what extent future projects might change water quality.
  • Data will also serve in the future to evaluate the effectiveness of enhancement and mitigation measures that will be required once new water supply projects are built.