Dec 19 2009
|Map of NISP plan area/NISP|
The water supply – and payments for water – in 15 northern Colorado communities are at stake, and two prospective provider projects appear to be ramping up their efforts to get the signoffs.
The Northern Integrated Supply Project has had the early track, partly as a Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District project. It aims to provide about 45,000 acre feet of water to a string of communities around the Fort Collins and Greeley area.
Key sources, the project says:
Glade Reservoir: This reservoir would be located northwest of Fort Collins and north of Horsetooth Reservoir. It would be 5 miles long, 260 feet deep and have the capacity to store 170,000 acre-feet of water. As a point of comparison, Horsetooth holds about 156,000 acre-feet. The water to fill Glade Reservoir would be diverted from the Poudre River using the already existing Poudre Valley Canal. There will be no new structures on the river. U.S. Highway 287 between Fort Collins and the Wyoming border divides the proposed Glade Reservoir site. Therefore, about seven miles of the highway would be relocated.
South Platte Water Conservation Project (Galeton Reservoir): Galeton would be located east of Ault and northeast of Greeley. It would hold about 40,000 acre-feet of water at full capacity. The water to fill Galeton would be diverted from the South Platte River downstream from Greeley. Galeton water would be delivered to two agricultural irrigation companies in exchange for Poudre River water they currently use. What does this mean? More than half of the water that NISP will divert from the Poudre River is water that has already been diverted for decades.
The NISP approach has gotten a string of endorsements from organizations and political figures.
An alternative has been developed by Renaissance Land and Water Management LLC, which also proposes a water delivery system, and has shown proposals to involved communities including Fort Morgan.
“Proponents of a water supply proposal for Fort Morgan got a cool reception from the city’s water advisory board Thursday, but the board did not completely dismiss the company’s plan,” the Fort Morgan Times reported on December 18.
Renaissance officials said they already have access to about 15,000 acre-feet and simply are looking to develop it. Much of the water apparently would be pumped from the Greeley to the Sterling area.
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