Two New Reservoirs that are Critical for 15 Northern Colorado Communities
The Northern Integrated Supply Project will supply 15 Northern Front Range water providers with 40,000 acre-feet of new, reliable water supplies. Northern Water is pursuing permitting, design and construction of this estimated $1.1 billion project on behalf of the participants, who will be providing water to nearly half a million residents by 2050. The project components include:
- Two reservoirs (Glade Reservoir northwest of Fort Collins, and Galeton Reservoir northeast of Greeley)
- A forebay reservoir below Glade Reservoir
- Five pump plants
- Pipelines to deliver water for exchange with two irrigation companies and for delivery to participants
- Improvements to an existing canal to divert water off the Poudre River near the canyon mouth
- Relocation of approximately seven miles of U.S. Highway 287 northwest of Fort Collins
Putting Water to Beneficial Use Here in Colorado
Since 2009, stream flows in the Poudre and South Platte rivers have been high enough in most years that had the project been complete and storing water, millions of acre-feet of water still would have flowed into Nebraska. NISP will help put more water to beneficial use here in Colorado, through a 1980 storage right on the Poudre River, a 1992 water right on the South Platte River, and exchanges with two local ditch companies.
A Project That Will Also Improve River Flows and Protect Wildlife and our Environment
The NISP Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan – approved by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, Colorado Water Conservation Board and Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2017 – includes an array of components that address issues raised during the permitting and public comment processes.
Additionally, in the summer of 2018, officials from the Army Corps of Engineers released a Final Environmental Impact Statement outlining the impacts of the Northern Integrated Supply Project, as well as three alternative projects. It also looks at the effects to the environment if no action alternative is approved. In addition to marking yet another step in a 15-year federal permitting process, the FEIS showed that no new significant issues have popped up and that the impacts can and will be mitigated.
A Great Fit for the Colorado Water Plan
The Colorado Water Plan reinforced the necessity of additional water storage to help meet the state’s future water gap. The gap is the difference between the estimated future water demands and existing supplies by the year 2060. The plan identifies the need for 400,000 acre-feet of additional storage statewide. NISP can play a role in meeting a portion of the impending water gap in Colorado.