Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Completion of Watson Lake Fish Bypass
The various partners who brought the Watson Lake Fish Bypass to fruition celebrated the project's completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 1. The fish bypass is an element of the NISP Mitigation and Enhancement Plan and reconnects two segments of the Poudre River near Bellvue that were previously disconnected by the Watson Lake diversion barrier, providing upstream fish movement through that structure, as well as enhancements of other aspects for the surrounding ecosystem. Northern Water collaborated with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Morning Fresh Dairy and noosa yoghurt on the project.
More information about the Watson Lake Fish Bypass
CBS Denver 4 News coverage of the ribbon-cutting ceremony
ABC Denver 7 News coverage of the ribbon-cutting ceremony
Fort Collins Coloradoan coverage of the ribbon-cutting ceremony
Farm Purchase Part of NISP Effort to Ensure WaterSecure Future
On Jan. 31, Northern Water and the NISP participants purchased a 28-acre farm northeast of Greeley and the property’s water rights. The farm was purchased through the NISP WaterSecure program, a cooperative effort to maintain the exchange of water for NISP while keeping water on participating farms. This investment is a shift from the “buy-and-dry” approach that has stressed our agricultural communities. Learn more: WaterSecure news release
Application Submitted for NISP’s 401 Water Quality Certification
The 401 certification is a state review of the water quality impacts associated with the project and is the next-to-last step in the NISP permitting efforts. This certification is also required as part of the final step in the process, that being a 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The state’s water quality division now has a year from the application date (Jan. 31) to approve, conditionally approve or deny the certification.
Construction Underway to Improve Poudre River Fish Habitat
A collaborative effort among the participants of the Northern Integrated Supply Project, Morning Fresh Dairy, noosa yoghurt and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is helping to improve the habitat on the Poudre River. A fish passage is being installed at the diversion dam adjacent to Watson Lake and the CPW fish hatchery nearby.
Crews broke ground on the $850,000 project in December, with completion slated for April. Through the project, two segments of the river that had been disconnected by the diversion barrier will be reconnected, with the goal of improving several facets: ecosystem health, angler access, public safety and public education.
Learn more here.
NISP Mitigation Efforts Applauded in EPA Comments to Corps of Engineers
In highlighting various aspects of the project, Philip S. Strobel, who serves at the EPA’s National Environmental Protection Act Compliance and Review Program director, wrote that the “mitigation plan would not only reduce or avoid some significant project impacts, the plan’s winter and summer modified conveyance flows would improve certain important ecological conditions on the reach of the Poudre through Fort Collins compared to current conditions.”
The NISP Final Environmental Impact Statement was released back in July, which was followed by a public comment period that concluded on Oct. 4.
Comments Due for the NISP FEIS Oct. 4
You can submit comments in writing to:
John Urbanic, NISP EIS Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Denver Regulatory Office
9307 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Littleton, CO 80128
You can also email your comments to email@example.com.
To read the NISP FEIS and other documents, click here.
NISP FEIS Public Comment Period Extended to Oct. 4
The public comment period for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) has been extended to Oct. 4, 2018, according to a press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. On July 20, officials from the Corps of Engineers released the NISP FEIS -- a document that outlines the impacts of the water-supply project, as well as three alternative projects. It also looks at the effects to the environment if no action alternative is approved.
At the time of its release, a public comment regarding the NISP FEIS had been set for 45 days, concluding on Sept. 4. However, Corps of Engineers officials said they have received a number of requests from the public to extend the comment period. After reviewing those requests, it was determined that an additional 30 days was warranted.
Anyone wanting to read the NISP FEIS or make comments can learn more here.
Federal Agency Releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for NISP
Anyone wanting to learn more can use the links below:
• Northern Water's press release on the NISP FEIS
• NISP FEIS
• NISP FEIS Executive Summary
New NISP Website Launched
Northern Water has launched a new website in its continued efforts of keeping the public well-informed about the Northern Integrated Supply Project. Information regarding NISP had previously been housed on Northern Water's main website.
The new NISP website -- found at www.gladereservoir.org -- provides a wide array of details about the project, such as maps, documents, timelines, information about the participants and much more.
The website will also offer the latest news on the project as progress continues to take place. Be sure to keep checking in.
Final Environmental Impact Statement Due Soon for NISP
Federal officials are expected to release the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Northern Integrated Supply Project on Friday, July 20. The report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers outlines the environmental impacts of the project as well as identifying potential mitigation and enhancement measures that can be implemented to address those impacts.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved Northern Water's Mitigation and Enhancement Plan in 2017. Upon release of the FEIS, members of the public may offer comment within the public comment time period. It is expected that federal officials will issue a Record of Decision regarding NISP in 2019.
Northern Water Spokesperson Discusses Low Flows with Coloradoan, Highlights How NISP Would Eliminate Current Dry-up Points in the Poudre River
With this week’s extreme heat, the Poudre River in Fort Collins at the Lincoln Street gage dropped to a record low of 3 cubic feet per second (cfs) for that date. But as Northern Water Public Information Officer Brian Werner pointed out in a recent Coloradoan article about low flows in the Poudre, that wouldn’t be the case if Glade Reservoir were in place.
Once built, the reservoir will release 25 cfs daily this time of year to maintain minimum flows of at least that amount through downtown Fort Collins. This benefit would come in addition to helping secure future water supplies for rapidly growing communities, new recreation opportunities and various enhancements for the area’s wildlife and environment.
Three Communities with Fastest Population Growth Rates in Colorado are NISP Participants
Population figures show that the three fastest growing communities in Colorado since 2010 are Firestone, Windsor and Erie (in that order) – all three of which are participants in the Northern Integrated Supply Project.
This reaffirms what Northern Water and NISP participants and supporters have stressed all along; that this project is needed to help meet the future water needs of smaller communities along the Front Range that are growing rapidly.
In addition to those three communities sitting at the very top of the list, Lafayette, which is a participant in both NISP and the Windy Gap Firming Project, was No. 11, while Louisville – a Windy Gap Firming Project participant – was No. 14.