What We Do

Collecting and Delivering Water to Northeastern Colorado  

In 1937, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District was created to contract with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation to build the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. Owned by the federal government, the C-BT Project, collects supplemental water west of the Continental Divide and delivers it to more than a million people in Northeastern Colorado for agricultural, municipal, domestic and industrial purposes. Our water project efforts expanded in 1970 with the creation of Northern Water’s Municipal Subdistrict by six Front Range municipalities searching for additional water supplies. This eventually resulted in construction of the Windy Gap Project during the early 1980s.

The C-BT Project’s series of pump plants, tunnels, pipelines, penstocks and canals transport more than 200,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Upper Colorado River basin to the East Slope. The C-BT Project consists of 12 reservoirs, 35 miles of tunnels and 95 miles of canals, with the 13.1-mile long Alva B. Adams Tunnel beneath the Continental Divide serving as the key to the entire project. 

Water quality personnel measures discharge in river
Northern Water's Lyndsey Lucia speaking to attendee in Conservation Gardens.
Northern Water crews working on repairs of the Hansen Feeder Canal in 2018.

We’re More Than Water Delivery

While our current and future projects drive day-to-day operations, Northern Water does much more in fulfilling our commitment to project participants, allottees and the general public. 

Through our water efficiency program, Northern Water encourages good stewardship of Colorado’s water resources. This includes investing with local partners and green industry professionals to educate the public on how to do more with less water. 

Monitoring water and other environmental parameters, as well as providing data are other major effort underway here at Northern Water. We monitor, collect and distribute weather and water quality data, snowpack, streamflows and reservoir levels, as well as water temperatures and river health. Northern Water is also a major participant and collaborator in multi-state programs to restore and protect endangered species and aquatic wildlife. 

Planning for Our Future  

As our population growth continues, Northern Water is collaborating with its constituents to plan and implement water projects to meet Northern Colorado’s future water needs. 

The proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project northwest of Fort Collins will provide approximately 40,000 acre-feet of new, reliable water supply to project participants. Chimney Hollow Reservoir, the major component of the Windy Gap Firming Project, is being built in southern Larimer County to store water for 13 communities and water districts.

Learn More About our Future Projects
Northern Water Project Manager Carl Brower presenting to group at the NISP site.