Close to 100 people gathered at the Livermore Community Center on May 13 to receive an update on the status of Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) by Communications and Records Department Manager Brian Werner.
NISP, designed to provide additional water for population growth while lessening the impacts of growth on agricultural water, consists of increasing water storage capacity in Northern Colorado with two reservoirs; Glade and Galeton. Fifteen northern front range water partners will benefit from 40,000 acre-feet of new and reliable water supplies when the project is complete.
In years of abundance, water has been leaving the state and flowing downstream into Nebraska. Since 2009, three million acre feet above legal requirements have been lost. The proposed reservoirs will keep much of this water in Colorado.
Werner described progress on the long-contemplated project and answered a wide range of questions. Participants were interested in the impact of Glade Reservoir which will be located close to home for many of attendees. The 170,000 acre-foot reservoir will be slightly larger than nearby Horsetooth Reservoir and will require the rerouting of seven miles of Highway 287.
Topics discussed included the rerouting and mitigation and enhancement plans that are currently underway. Participants were also interested in the recreational opportunities that will be provided by Glade and the location of public access to the reservoir.
Water is not likely to flow into Glade any time soon. The process began in 2004 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated the environmental impact statement process for NISP. Public comment was requested in 2008. A supplemental EIS statement was issued in 2015 and 500 public comments were received. Taking these into consideration, the Corps will issue a final EIS (a 900-page document) in 2017. A Record of Decision is scheduled for 2018.
Meanwhile, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy staff continue to work toward a fish and wildlife mitigation plan, water quality certification and a wetlands permit.
“The final design will be complete in 2019 or 2020, construction will begin in 2021 and will take four years,” Werner said. “Look for water in the reservoir in 2025.”
He is willing to discuss the project with anyone who is interested. For more detailed information see www.northernwater.org or contact Werner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-622-2229.