• 1884
    August 1884
    State engineer E.S. Nettleton conducts the first preliminary survey of a possible diversion project to import West Slope water to the Front Range.
  • 1889
    Black and white photo of Grand Lake
    The state of Colorado appropriates $25,000 to survey potential water diversion routes from Grand Lake to the South Platte River basin. The survey results are unfavorable.
  • 1890
    Black and white photo of water diversion into the Poudre in the 1890s
    Irrigators construct small transmountain diversions to import water to the Poudre River basin.
  • 1902
    June 17, 1902
    President Theodore Roosevelt signs the Reclamation Act (also known as the Newlands Act) into law, creating the United States Reclamation Service in 1902
    President Theodore Roosevelt signs the Reclamation Act (also known as the Newlands Act) into law, creating the United States Reclamation Service.
  • July 1902
    Secretary of the Interior Ethan Allen Hitchcock establishes the U.S. Reclamation Service within the U.S. Geological Survey to study potential water development projects in 17 western states.
  • 1905
    Black and white photo of Grand Lake
    The Reclamation Service withdraws land from public entry near Grand Lake for a potential future water diversion project.
  • 1907
    The Reclamation Service becomes a separate organization within the Interior Department and is renamed the Bureau of Reclamation.
  • 1915
    Jan. 26, 1915
    Black and white photo of people gathered for the Rocky Mountain National Park dedication
    The U.S. Congress establishes Rocky Mountain National Park. The enabling legislation includes the following: “The United States Reclamation Service may enter upon and utilize for flowage or other purposes any area within said park which may be necessary for the development and maintenance of a government reclamation project.”
  • 1921
    The U.S. Congress officially changes the name of the Grand River to the Colorado River. Proponents request the change to officially identify the headwaters of the Colorado River and differentiate it from the Green River in Wyoming.
  • 1922
    Nov. 24, 1922
    Black and white photo of the Colorado River
    Congress ratifies the first interstate river compact in the United States. The Colorado River Compact apportions the use of Colorado River water between the Upper (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico) and Lower (California, Arizona and Nevada) basin states.
  • 1930
    Black and white photo of a historic Colorado dust storm during the dust bowl in the 1930s
    The Great Depression hits. Drought and dust storms force many northeastern Colorado farmers to halt all efforts to raise crops.
  • 1933
    Aug. 17, 1933
    Northern Colorado leaders organize the Grand Lake Committee – predecessor to the Northern Colorado Water Users Association and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (NCWCD/Northern Water) – to pursue a Grand Lake water diversion project.
  • December 1933
    Engineers report that a Grand Lake water diversion project is feasible.
  • 1935
    January 1935
    The Reclamation Service allots $150,000 to survey and estimate costs for the Grand Lake Project.
  • Jan. 25, 1935
    Grand Lake Project proponents establish the Northern Colorado Water Users Association.
  • 1936
    July 1, 1936
    Congress officially renames the Grand Lake Project the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.
  • 1937
    May 13, 1937
    Colorado Governor Teller Ammons signs the Conservancy District Act into law.
  • June 1937
    Photo of Charles Hansen
    Proponents circulate petitions throughout northeastern Colorado to organize Northern Water.
  • June 11, 1937
    The Northern Colorado Water Users Association and the Western Slope Protective Association reach an agreement to endorse the C-BT Project, including construction of Green Mountain Reservoir.
  • June 15, 1937
    Portrait of Alva B. Adams
    U. S. Senator Alva B. Adams presents Senate Document 80 to Congress (a development plan and cost estimates for the C-BT Project).
  • June 24, 1937
    Congress approves Senate Document 80, authorizing construction of the C-BT Project.
  • Aug. 9, 1937
    Black and white photo of Franklin Roosevelt
    President Roosevelt signs the Interior Department appropriations bill committing $900,000 in construction funds to the C-BT Project.
  • Sept. 20, 1937
    The District Court of Weld County orders the creation of Northern Water.
  • Sept. 28, 1937
    Black and white picture of the Greeley Tribune Building
    The Northern Water Board of Directors meets for the first time in the basement of the Greeley Tribune building. This location is Northern Water's headquarters until May 27, 1954.
  • Nov. 12, 1937
    Interior Secretary Harold Ickes considers protests against C-BT Project funding, but he determines the project is feasible and forwards his findings to President Roosevelt.
  • Dec. 27, 1937
    President Roosevelt concurs with Harold Ickes and grants the C-BT Project final approval.
  • 1938
    June 28, 1938
    Northeastern Colorado voters authorize Northern Water to sign a contract with the United States and to assess a 1 mill ad valorem tax on all properties within Northern Water boundaries to build and operate the C-BT Project. The measure is approved by a 17:1 margin.
  • July 5, 1938
    Northern Water signs a contract with the United States to repay a portion of C-BT Project construction costs.
  • Dec. 1, 1938
    Black and white photo of Green Mountain Dam construction
    Warner Construction Company begins excavating the foundation for Green Mountain Reservoir dam, the first major C-BT Project feature constructed.
  • 1940
    June 23, 1940
    Construction begins on the Continental Divide Tunnel. One crew begins from Grand Lake on the West Slope while a second team tunnels from a location near Estes Park on the East Slope. When complete the tunnel is the longest ever built from two separate headings.
  • 1941
    Dec. 5, 1941
    Construction of Lake Granby Dam construction
    Work begins on the Lake Granby Dam and diversion tunnel.
  • 1942
    Dec. 31, 1942
    The War Production Board halts all construction work on C-BT Project features except the power plant at Green Mountain Reservoir.
  • 1943
    May 1943
    Black and white aerial photo of Green Mountain Dam and power plant
    Green Mountain Power Plant produces its first electricity.
  • July 1943
    The War Production Board allows C-BT Project construction to resume on a limited basis.
  • 1944
    April 24, 1944
    Black and white photo of Shadow Mountain Dam construction
    Work on Shadow Mountain Dam begins. The War Production Board grants special allowance for continued C-BT Project construction for war-time food production.
  • June 10, 1944
    Black and white photo of crews constructing the Alva B. Adams tunnel
    Crews working from both the West and East slopes hole through the Continental Divide Tunnel. NBC radio broadcasts the event live to the nation. A check of the center line and grade reveals the two sides are off by only a penny's width.
  • Dec. 21, 1944
    President Roosevelt signs legislation to rename the tunnel after the late Senator Alva B. Adams.
  • 1945
    November 1945
    Construction workers complete Shadow Mountain Dam and spillway.
  • 1947
    The C-BT Project diverts 6,014 acre feet of water to the East Slope for irrigation.
  • June 23, 1947
    Black and white photo of the first water exiting the East Portal of the Adams Tunnel
    Ten years after work began on the C-BT Project, and seven years to the day after tunnel construction began, officials dedicate the Adams Tunnel. The first C-BT water is delivered to the East Slope.
  • 1948
    Nov. 1, 1948
    Crews close the gates at Olympus Dam, enabling water to be stored in Lake Estes.
  • 1949
    Sept. 14, 1949
    Black and white photo of Lake Granby
    Water is stored in Lake Granby for the first time.
  • 1950
    July 19, 1950
    Black and white photo of first water flowing into Carter Lake
    Work begins on the dams at Carter Lake.
  • 1951
    Jan. 10, 1951
    Black and white photo of Horsetooth Reservoir construction
    Water is stored for the first time in Horsetooth Reservoir.
  • Jan. 25, 1951
    Water is pumped from Lake Granby into Shadow Mountain Reservoir for the first time.
  • July 20, 1951
    Colorado Gov. Lee Knous and others dedicate the Granby Pump Plant and sponsor a fishing contest in conjunction with the ceremony.
  • July 21, 1951
    The first C-BT Project water is released from Horsetooth Reservoir into the Poudre River.
  • 1952
    Sept. 19, 1952
    Crews finish building the dams at Carter Lake.
  • 1953
    Jan. 1, 1953
    Severe drought grips eastern Colorado through 1956.
  • April 2, 1953
    Black and white photo of Willow Creek construction activities
    Water is stored in Willow Creek Reservoir for the first time.
  • June 1, 1953
    Following the death of Charles Hansen, Greeley Tribune editor and first Northern Water Board president, the District looks for a new headquarters location close to C-BT Project features and Reclamation’s new office southwest of Loveland.
  • Sept. 8, 1953
    The Northern Water Board votes to include the City of Boulder in District boundaries. The Board also agrees to purchase 2.6 acres west of Loveland for a new headquarters. The site is a cherry orchard.
  • 1954
    Feb. 26, 1954
    Flatiron Reservoir and power plant
    Water is pumped from Flatiron Reservoir into Carter Lake for the first time, bringing Colorado River water to the Little Thompson and St. Vrain valleys.
  • May 27, 1954
    Black and white photo of Northern Water's Loveland headquarters in 1954
    After 17 years in the basement of the Greeley Tribune building, Northern Water moves to its new headquarters west of Loveland. The District has four full-time employees.
  • 1955
    Oct. 12, 1955
    U.S. District Court issues a final decree stipulating the quantities of water the C-BT Project may divert, store and deliver.
  • 1956
    Jan. 1, 1956
    Construction crews finish the South Platte Supply Canal, the final C-BT Project feature Congress authorized in 1937.
  • Aug. 11, 1956
    Water flows over Hansen Supply Canal drop structure
    Northern Water officials rename the Horsetooth Feeder Canal and the Poudre Supply Canal in honor of Charles Hansen, Greeley Tribune editor, C-BT Project proponent and first Northern Water Board president.
  • Sept. 10, 1956
    Northern Water and Reclamation officials sign C-BT Project Supplemental Contract No. 2, authorizing a five-year interim period for Northern Water to accumulate reserve funds for possible emergencies.
  • 1957
    The C-BT Project is declared complete and fully operational.
  • 1960
    Nov. 9, 1960
    Black and white photo of Boulder Reservoir construction
    A Weld County District Court order expands the Northern Water Board from 11 to 12 directors. The additional appointee represents Boulder County, which has experienced a 53 percent population increase between 1950 and 1960.
  • 1962
    Jan. 1, 1962
    A 40-year repayment period commences for Northern Water's portion of C-BT Project facilities and construction costs.
  • 1965
    October 1965
    Black and white photo of Lake Granby spillway
    Engineers rebuild Granby Dam spillway after discovering the original design allows water to undercut bedrock adjacent to the dam's base.
  • 1968
    Northern Water purchases 11 acres adjoining the south and west sides of its current property to expand its headquarters.
  • 1970
    July 6, 1970
    Windy Gap Project participants formally establish Northern Water's Municipal Subdistrict, the first subdistrict ever created under the Water Conservancy Act. Construction begins on a new Northern Water headquarters.
  • 1971
    April 27, 1971
    Northern Water's Loveland headquarters in 1968
    Northern Water moves into its new headquarters at 1250 N. Wilson Avenue in Loveland. This location serves as the organization’s principal place of business until August 28, 2003.
  • 1973
    Oct. 3, 1973
    Northern Water, Subdistrict and Reclamation sign a carriage contract, allowing the Subdistrict to utilize C-BT Project facilities to transport and deliver the Subdistrict’s Windy Gap Project water.
  • 1976
    July 31, 1976
    C-BT Siphon washed away in 1976 Big Thompson flood waters
    A flash flood on the Big Thompson River kills 145 people and causes more than $35 million in property damage. Flood water and debris destroy the 240-foot-long Big Thompson Siphon, halting C-BT Project water deliveries to Horsetooth Reservoir. Reclamation officials oversee fabrication and installation of a new siphon is operational in 88 days.
  • 1977
    Drought hits northeastern Colorado from 1977 to 1978, and Horsetooth Reservoir reaches its lowest level since it was first filled in the 1950s.
  • 1980
    April 30, 1980
    The Subdistrict reaches an agreement with the Colorado River Water Conservation District and other West Slope interests. The West Slope agrees to no longer oppose the Windy Gap Project, and the Subdistrict commits to study and construct the Azure Project to benefit the West Slope.
  • 1981
    Northern Water establishes an Irrigation Management Service to promote wise agricultural water use. The IMS is part of Northern Water's commitment to water conservation.
  • July 11, 1981
    Construction of Windy Gap Reservoir
    Construction crews break ground on the Windy Gap Project.
  • 1985
    March 29, 1985
    The Subdistrict agrees to pay $10.2 million to the West Slope when plans for the Azure Project are scrapped. This supplemental agreement removes the last hurdle to the Windy Gap Project.
  • June 29, 1985
    Subdistrict officials dedicate the Windy Gap Project.
  • 1986
    The City of Thornton pays $55 million for 21,000 acres of farmland in Weld and Larimer counties. The city intends to transfer the farms’ irrigation water to Thornton via a 56-mile pipeline.
  • April 9, 1986
    Thornton makes public its plan to divert water from Northern Colorado.
  • June 1, 1986
    Northern Water assumes operation and maintenance responsibilities for C-BT collection facilities on the West Slope.
  • October 1986
    President Reagan signs legislation designating a large segment of the Cache la Poudre as Colorado's first wild and scenic river.
  • 1987
    Feb. 1, 1987
    Northern Water assumes operation and maintenance responsibilities for Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake. By 1987 Northern Water has 56 full-time employees; approximately half are employed in the Operations and Maintenance Branch.
  • Sept. 20, 1987
    Northern Water marks its 50th anniversary with a celebration at its headquarters in Loveland.
  • October 1987
    The Bureau of Reclamation announces a reorganization plan, shifting the 85-year-old agency's focus from project construction to water resources management.
  • 1988
    Horsetooth Reservoir dam
    Engineers raise Horsetooth’s four dams 3 to 8 feet in elevation from 1988 to 1989, increasing the reservoir's ability to store water from major flood events and addressing safety concerns.
  • 1989
    Feb. 6, 1989
    A Water Division No. 5 judge grants the Subdistrict absolute decrees to pump and store Windy Gap Project water.
  • 1991
    March 1991
    The Central Colorado Water Conservancy District imports the concept of children's water festivals to Colorado from Nebraska and hosts Colorado's first children's water festival.
  • June 3, 1991
    Northern Water begins offering C-BT Project water for seasonal rental. People line up as early as 2 a.m. to rent water.
  • June 14, 1991
    Northern Water and Subdistrict boards vote to include the City and County of Broomfield within Northern Water and Subdistrict boundaries.
  • July 1991
    Northern Water staff release the Northern Colorado Regional Water Supply Study, including information about projected future water demands.
  • 1991
    Northern Water begins preliminary design work on the Southern Water Supply Project pipeline to deliver C-BT and Windy Gap water from Carter Lake to cities and towns year-round.
  • 1992
    May 19, 1992
    Children's water festivals spread across Northern Colorado. Northern Water sponsors its first festival in Fort Collins.
  • October 1992
    The University Press of Colorado publishes "The Last Water Hole in the West," a history of Northern Water and C-BT Project. The book's author is Colorado State University historian Daniel Tyler.
  • 1993
    Northern Water expands its Irrigation Management Service to include a Turf and Urban Landscape Water Management and Conservation Program component. By 1993 municipalities own more than half of C-BT Project units.
  • November 1993
    Southern Water Supply Project pipeline construction
    Construction begins on the Southern Water Supply Project pipeline from Carter Lake to Broomfield.
  • 1994
    Loveland turf day at Northern Water's former Loveland campus
    Northern Water converts the west lawn at its Loveland headquarters into a turf demonstration site to study bluegrass lawn maintenance and methods to use less fertilizer and water.
  • June 18, 1994
    Farr Pump Plant
    Officials rename the Granby Pump Plant in honor of the Farr family, a prominent Weld County farm and ranching family.
  • 1995
    Dec. 13, 1995
    Flatiron Power Plant
    A rare sequence of events triggers an explosion at the Flatiron Power Plant’s Unit No. 3. Reclamation must repair the unit before it can pump water to Carter Lake.
  • 1996
    May 1, 1996
    Dedication of Windy Gap watchable wildlife area
    The Subdistrict and dignitaries dedicate and open the Windy Gap Watchable Wildlife Area for public use at Windy Gap Reservoir near Granby.
  • July 16, 1996
    Crews install the last segment of the Fort Lupton-Hudson pipeline, completing the second phase of the Southern Water Supply Project.
  • 1996
    Following repairs, Reclamation personnel test and ready the Flatiron Pump Plant Unit No.3.
  • 1997
    Feb. 7, 1997
    Northern Water and Municipal Subdistrict boards vote to include the City of Louisville within Northern Water and Municipal Subdistrict boundaries.
  • Sept. 1, 1997
    Engineers begin designing a third phase of the Southern Water Supply Project pipeline, a 42-mile segment from Platteville to Fort Morgan.
  • November 1997
    Northern Water purchases 35 acres on the north side of Berthoud to consolidate all East Slope employees, facilities and activities at a new headquarters site.
  • 1998
    April 1, 1998
    Sign at location of Thompson Valley Young Farmers demonstration site
    Northern Water's Irrigation Management Service installs a drip irrigation system in a cornfield at the Thompson Valley Young Farmer Education Farm.
  • August 1998
    Pleasant Valley Pipeline participants settle on a project design. The reversible pipeline will benefit Larimer and Weld county residents.
  • October 1998
    Crews begin constructing a bypass flow structure at the Flatiron Power Plant. The bypass will enable water to bypass Flatiron in the event of a plant failure. The plant produces hydropower and also pumps water 300 vertical feet to Carter Lake.
  • December 1998
    Construction of the Flatiron bypass structure is complete.
  • 1999
    Windy Gap Project participants and the Subdistrict consider several potential reservoir sites on both the East and West slopes to store Windy Gap Project water from 1999 to 2000. This effort becomes known as the Windy Gap Firming Project, an effort to firm the relatively junior Windy Gap Project water rights and provide storage independent of the C-BT Project.
  • September 1999
    Crews finish work on the Southern Water Supply Project pipeline’s final 42 miles from Platteville to Fort Morgan.
  • 2000
    Sustained drought hits northeastern Colorado until 2006, resulting in agricultural water shortages and municipal water use restrictions.
  • January 2000
    Northern Water and Reclamation unveil plans to modernize Horsetooth Reservoir’s four 50-year-old dams to make the structures more earthquake resistant and reduce seepage.
  • April 2000
    Longmont Pump Station
    Windy Gap participants, the Subdistrict and Northern Water discuss increasing the Southern Water Supply Project pipeline’s capacity via installation of pumps.
  • April 2000
    Northern Water and Colorado Division of Wildlife officials agree to construct additional game ramps in several C-BT Project canals. The ramps enable stranded wildlife to exit the canals safely.
  • June 13, 2000
    Burn scar from the Bobcat Fire
    The Bobcat Gulch fire ignites north of Drake and west of the Hansen Feeder Canal. The fire scorches approximately 10,600 acres. Northern Water and other agencies cooperate to minimize erosion and excessive runoff from the burned area.
  • July 14, 2000
    The Northern Water Board approves a contract with RB+B Architects, Inc. to design new headquarters facilities in Berthoud.
  • Oct. 27, 2000
    President Clinton signs legislation authorizing title transfer of four C-BT Project facilities from the U.S. government to Northern Water. All are located downstream of Horsetooth Reservoir and include the North Poudre (Munroe Gravity) and Charles Hansen supply canals, the Windsor Extension and the Dixon Feeder Canal.
  • December 2000
    Northern Water and Reclamation sign C-BT Project Supplemental Contract No. 7 to modernize Horsetooth Reservoir’s four 50-year-old dams.
  • 2001
    February 2001
    The Bureau of Reclamation contracts with Delhur Industries to modernize Horsetooth Reservoir’s four dams.
  • 2002
    April 2002
    The Northern Water Board approves a contract with FCI Constructors, Inc. for the new Berthoud headquarters facilities.
  • June 17, 2002
    The Bureau of Reclamation marks its 100th anniversary with a celebration at Hoover Dam on the Colorado River near Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • August 2002
    The C-BT Siphon with a new color and fresh coat of pain
    A contractor repaints the Big Thompson Siphon, the structure’s first new coat of paint since it was replaced following the 1976 Big Thompson flood. The new color: sweetwood brown.
  • October 2002
    The Northern Water Board moves its initial quota declaration to October, establishing winter-time water delivery accounts and allowing water users to transfer water before the traditional quota declaration each April.
  • December 2002
    Northern Water makes its final payment to the federal government, fulfilling its financial obligations under the original C-BT Project Repayment Contract and the C-BT Project Supplemental Contract No. 2. Northern Water continues to repay its portion of Horsetooth Modernization Project costs under C-BT Project Supplemental Contract No. 7.
  • 2003
    January 2003
    Northern Water begins investigating water project alternatives within the South Platte, St. Vrain, Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre watersheds for a potential Northern Integrated Supply Project.
  • April 2003
    The Subdistrict pumps a record-setting 64,200 acre-feet of Windy Gap Project water to Lake Granby.
  • Sept. 2, 2003
    Northern Water's Berthoud Headquarters
    After more than 49 years in west Loveland, Northern Water moves to its new facility in Berthoud. The District has 104 full-time employees; 84 in Berthoud and 20 at the Farr Pump Plant on Lake Granby.
  • October 2003
    After more than two-and-a-half years of work the Horsetooth Modernization project is complete. The same month work begins on the 8.5-mile Pleasant Valley Pipeline.
  • 2004
    Feb. 13, 2004
    Northern Water and Subdistrict boards vote to include the City of Lafayette within Northern Water and Subdistrict boundaries.
  • March 2004
    Pleasant Valley Pipeline construction
    Crews finish constructing the Pleasant Valley Pipeline between Horsetooth Reservoir and the Poudre River. It is designed to flow by gravity in each direction without the need for pumps, associated infrastructure or power costs.
  • April 2004
    Northern Water expands its water quality monitoring program, a multi-agency effort to monitor and maintain the C-BT Project’s supply of high-quality water.
  • August 2004
    The Northern Water Board adopts new Carryover Program rules and a Carryover Capacity Transferability Program to more flexibly manage C-BT Project water supplies.
  • September 2004
    Northern Water implements online accounting, providing secure online access to C-BT Project allottees’ water accounts via the Northern Water website.
  • 2005
    March 2005
    Windy Gap Reservoir
    The Subdistrict completes Windy Gap Project pipeline repairs and installs a cathodic protection system to minimize future repairs and extend the pipeline’s useable life span. Northern Water reconstructs the bifurcation structure on the Hansen Supply Canal and Windsor Extension at the Poudre River north of Horsetooth Reservoir.
  • May 2005
    Northern Water begins preliminary design work on a second Southern Water Supply Project pipeline from Carter Lake to cities within Northern Water and Subdistrict boundaries.
  • October 2005
    The Northern Water Board adopts a Regional Pool Program to increase water management flexibility and help preserve a portion of C-BT Project water supplies for irrigated agriculture.
  • November 2005
    The Northern Water Board signs agreements with the Bureau of Reclamation and URS Corporation to design a second outlet structure at Carter Lake.
  • 2006
    March 2006
    Northern Water relocates a section of the St. Vrain Supply Canal upstream of the Little Thompson Siphon due to unstable geology. The canal is back in operation and carrying water by early April.
  • April 2006
    The U.S. Senate passes H.R. 3443 conveying ownership of the St. Vrain Supply Canal, the Boulder Creek Supply Canal, and the South Platte Supply Canal from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to Northern Water.
  • July 31, 2006
    "OLLIE" (Outdoor Laboratory for Landscape and Irrigation Educatioin) garden sign
    Northern Water dedicates its Outdoor Laboratory for Landscape and Irrigation Education (OLLIE) and marks the 30th anniversary of the 1976 Big Thompson flood. OLLIE, a 2.5-acre site dedicated to turf, soil, irrigation and planting experiments, is part of Northern Water's Turf and Urban Landscape Water Management & Conservation Program. In 2007 OLLIE is renamed The Conservation Gardens at Northern Water.
  • Oct. 15, 2006
    Northern Water staff begin lowering the water level in Shadow Mountain Reservoir 12 vertical feet to kill aquatic weeds by exposing them to freezing temperatures for approximately five weeks. The reservoir’s location and lack of depth make it fertile ground for aquatic weed growth.
  • 2007
    April 2007
    The Northern Water Board endorses staff’s recommendation to use “Northern Water” as an abbreviated reference for “Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District” to facilitate name recognition. Previously the organization was known by multiple references, including The District, Northern, The Northern District, The Water District, NCWCD and others.
  • October 2007
    Current day photo of Carter Lake outlet structure
    A new outlet is constructed at Carter Lake. Completed in March 2008, the project includes a three-tiered intake tower, an 800-foot-long tunnel and several hundred feet of pipeline. The additional outlet supplements rather than replaces the original outlet structure.
  • 2008
    January 2008
    The Northern Water Board adopts a new logo to replace the organization’s existing 20-year-old logo.
  • July 2008
    Reclamation confirms the presence of quagga mussels in Lake Granby. Quagga mussels are an invasive species similar to zebra mussels. Both types of mussels drive out native species, block industrial pipes and can clog boat motors.
  • 2009
    April 2009
    Saint Vrain Supply Canal trash rack
    Northern Water crews finish installing an automated trash rack on the St. Vrain Supply Canal near Lyons to lift tumbleweeds and other debris from the canal.
  • 2010
    March 2010
    The Northern Water Board allocates 10,000 acre-feet of C-BT Project water from the Regional Pool; water users bid on and lease the entire amount. Adopted by the Board in 2005, the Regional Pool Program provides greater flexibility and to preserve some C-BT water supplies for irrigated agriculture.
  • July 2010
    The Northern Water Board allocates an additional 15,000 acre-feet of C-BT Project water from the Regional Pool; water users bid on and lease only 1,030 acre-feet due to plentiful supplies.
  • October 2010
    Modern day photo of Shadow Mountain Reservoir
    Northern Water rehabilitates the connecting channel structure between Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Built in the mid-1940s, the structure helps control surface levels in both water bodies.
  • 2011
    February 2011
    The Northern Water Board approves construction of a hydroelectric power plant at Carter Lake. When complete the project will generate enough electricity to power a town of approximately 5,000 people.
  • 2012
    May 31, 2012
    People gathered at Trout Hydropower Plant for ribbon cutting and dedication
    Northern Water dedicates the Robert V. Trout Hydropower Plant at Carter Lake. Named for Bob Trout, Northern Water’s legal counsel for more than 35 years, the $6-million project includes two 1,300 kilowatt Francis turbines with a projected output of 7 to 10 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power about 1,000 homes.
  • June 9, 2012
    Smoke rising from the High Park Fire
    The High Park Fire is detected west of Fort Collins. Caused by a lightning strike, the fire burned over 87,284 acres, destroyed 259 homes and negatively impacted water quality in the Cache la Poudre River. By land area the High Park Fire was the second-largest in Colorado history.
  • Sept. 20, 2012
    Northern Water marks its 75th anniversary with a celebration at its headquarters in Berthoud.
  • 2013
    July 2013
    Northern Water signs a water lease agreement with the city of Grand Junction to provide more than 5,400 acre-feet of water for municipal and recreational use in Grand Junction through releases out of Lake Granby down the Colorado River. This agreement helps fulfill a commitment under the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program for additional water in a 15 Mile Reach of the Colorado River above Grand Junction.
  • September 2013
    Big Thompson Canyon with waters rushing and debris below the C-BT Siphon during the 2013 flood
    Beginning on September 9, 2013, a slow-moving cold front stalls over Colorado and clashes with warm humid monsoonal air from the south, resulting in heavy rain and catastrophic flooding along Colorado's Front Range. The situation intensifies on September 11 and 12, when rainfall totals exceed 20 inches in parts of Boulder County, leading to flash flooding, loss of life and property destruction (including C-BT Project infrastructure).
  • November 2013
    Northern Water completes a multi-year effort to rehabilitate the original Carter Lake outlet structure. Constructed in the mid-1950s, the original outlet was intended for large-volume water deliveries only during the irrigation season. Year-round water deliveries to cities and towns severely limited Northern Water’s ability to repair the aging structure until a new outlet at Carter Lake was finished in March 2008.
  • 2014
    March 11, 2014
    Northern Water Directors initially approve the construction of a hydropower plant at the outlet of Granby Dam on Lake Granby in Grand County (Granby Hydropower Project).
  • October 2014
    Water storage levels in the C-BT Project reach an all-time high; more than 200,000 acre-feet above average and 20 percent greater than the previous record set in 1997.
  • Dec. 19, 2014
    Following years of effort, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Northern Water and its Municipal Subdistrict sign a new Windy Gap carriage contract. Simultaneously, Reclamation issues a Record of Decision enabling the Windy Gap Firming Project to proceed towards design and construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Carter Lake. At the same Board meeting, Northern Water Directors approve several financial agreements to proceed with the Granby Hydropower Project at Lake Granby.
  • 2015
    March 13, 2015
    The Northern Water Board approves a contract with Aslan Construction for the Granby Hydropower Project at Lake Granby. When operating at capacity the hydropower facility at Granby Dam will provide approximately 50 percent of the current capacity of the Trout Hydropower Plant at Carter Lake.
  • May 2015
    During late April and May, much of Northeastern Colorado receives approximately 200-300 percent of normal precipitation, leading to localized flooding.
  • 2016
    June 3, 2016
    Granby Hydropower Plant
    Northern Water dedicates the Granby Hydropower Plant at the base of Granby Dam. The $5.1-million project includes two 600 kilowatt Francis turbines with a projected output of 5 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power about 370 homes.
  • 2017
    May 16, 2017
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues a Record of Decision enabling the Subdistrict to proceed with construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir, the key component of the Windy Gap Firming Project.
  • 2018
    May 2018
    Construction begins on a second Southern Water Supply Project pipeline (SWSP II) from Carter Lake. The $44 million pipeline parallels the first SWSP pipeline from Carter Lake to the west side of Longmont. From there the new pipeline will head southwest to serve both the Left Hand Water District and the City of Boulder’s water filtration plant at Boulder Reservoir.
  • 2020
    January 2020
    The Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues the Northern Integrated Supply Project the Colorado 401 Water Quality Certification.
  • July 15, 2020
    The Larimer County Planning Commission recommends approval of a county 1041 permit for the Northern Integrated Supply Project to the Board of County Commissioners, which ultimately will decide whether to issue a permit.
  • September 2020
    Flames of the East Troublesome Fire in Grand County, CO
    Colorado experiences devastating wildfires on the East and West slopes. The East Troublesome, Cameron Peak, Calwood and Williams Fork fires each present hazards to residents and infrastructure in watersheds tributary to the Colorado-Big Thompson and Windy Gap projects.
  • Sept. 2, 2020
    The Northern Integrated Supply Project achieved an important milestone with the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners approving the 1041 Land Use Permit application.
  • October 2020
    Debris downstream of Willow Creek Reservoir after East Troublesome Fire
    Due to unprecedented growth of the East Troublesome fire in Grand County, control center operations are transferred from the Farr Pump Plant to Northern Water’s Berthoud headquarters. Northern Water and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation work jointly to protect C-BT Project infrastructure, including closing the Adams Tunnel and halting pumping operations at Lake Granby. A late October storm blankets both East and West slope fire areas with 12-18 inches of snow, halting expansion of the fires and allowing most of the C-BT Project’s West Slope facilities to resume operations.
  • Dec. 10, 2020
    Federal Court rules in favor of the Windy Gap Firming Project, clearing the way for construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir near Berthoud.
  • 2021
    Feb. 12, 2021
    The Northern Water Board of Directors and Grand County Board of County Commissioners agree to be sponsors for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program for the East Troublesome Fire recovery effort and for the Grand County Watershed Recovery group. The EWP Program is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Its purpose is to implement watershed protection projects that mitigate risks to life and property caused by sudden watershed impairments such as post-fire flooding, sediment loading and debris flows.
  • May 13, 2021
    Northern Water team turns the dirt at the East Slope campus development groundbreaking ceremony
    Northern Water broke ground on Phase I of its Berthoud Campus Development Project. Phase I includes construction of Building F to house the Operations Division, buildings H and K for fleet and long-term storage, as well as parking lot expansion and other site improvements.
  • June 17, 2021
    Northern Water management team turns dirt at Willow Creek Campus groundbreaking event
    Northern Water breaks ground on its new Willow Creek Campus in Grand County, Colorado. The new campus will be located just south of our Willow Creek Pump Plant on land owned by Northern Water. The campus building will be approximately 41,000 square feet and will be a mix of office and fleet maintenance space, as well as home to our control room. The new campus will house approximately 30 full-time employees and is intended to replace the existing office/shop facilities at Farr and Windy Gap pump plants.
  • Aug. 6, 2021
    Municipal Subdistrict Board of Directors turn dirt at the 2021 Chimney Hollow groundbreaking
    The Northern Water Municipal Subdistrict breaks ground on Chimney Hollow Reservoir, culminating a 20-year permitting process. Chimney Hollow Reservoir is a key component for these Windy Gap Firming participants: Broomfield, Platte River Power Authority, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Erie, Little Thompson Water District, Superior, Louisville, Fort Lupton, Lafayette and Central Weld County Water District. Each of the reservoir project participants that provide residential water service has committed to reduce per capita water supply through water conservation.
  • Aug. 16, 2021
    Aerial view of the Chimney Hollow Valley looking north toward Flatiron Reservoir.
    Northern Water’s Municipal Subdistrict issued a Notice to Proceed to Barnard Construction Co. Inc. to begin construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir. Environmental and mitigation efforts have also begun in the Upper Colorado River basin.
  • 2022
    April 2022
    The Northern Water Board of Directors is expanded to 13 members. The additional member represents the City and County of Broomfield.
  • June 1, 2022
    Staff cuts the ribbon at the Eastern Pump Plant ribbon cutting ceremony
    The Northern Water Board dedicates the Eastern Pump Plant. The plant includes four pumps that increase the capacity of the Southern Water Supply Project by 63 percent. The facility was designed in 2018, and work began on the $10 million project in early 2020. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and a tightened supply chain, crews were able to complete the project on budget and within its design parameters.
  • Aug. 23, 2022
    Dignitaries from across the region gather to celebrate the start of construction at the Colorado River Connectivity Channel located in Grand County. Led by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, leaders of public agencies and private non-governmental organizations extol the value of the project that will reconnect two segments of the Colorado River above and below Windy Gap Reservoir.
  • September 2022
    Willow Creek Campus in Granby, CO, September 2022
    West Slope employees move into the new Willow Creek Campus, the first Northern Water office and maintenance complex on the West Slope. Employees worked out of various locations, including Farr and Windy Gap pump plants, since Farr Pump Plant was constructed from 1947 to 1951. The new building offers a mix of office and fleet maintenance space, as well as a control room to allow staff to manage Northern Water facilities.
  • Dec. 9, 2022
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues a federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Record of Decision for the Northern Integrated Supply Project. This is a major milestone for NISP, as it reflects the lead federal regulatory agency’s review and approval of the project. The Corps’ approval is based on a lengthy and rigorous scientific analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act and a host of other environmental laws, including the federal Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, State Water Quality compliance certification, and State Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Plan requirements.
  • 2023
    May 25, 2023
    Building A topping out ceremony; lifting a beam in place
    The final beam of the Building A expansion is placed. The expansion is part of the Phase II Campus Development Project at the Berthoud Headquarters.
  • July 10, 2023
    The highest daily total for the C-BT Project occurs when 803,291 acre-feet of water is in storage, surpassing the previous record set on July 14, 2019, by 769 acre-feet.