“Water Needs from a Historical Perspective” is the theme of this year’s Support Rally for NISP – the Northern Integrated Supply Project. The rally will be held on Tuesday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fort Lupton Historical Park. Hank Brown, former U.S. Senator and president of the University of Colorado, will give the keynote address at the event, which also features a barbecue lunch and other activities.
“Water supplies are scarce and precious in this drought year, which is being compared to the drought of 2002-03,” according to Brian Werner, spokesman for Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. “In light of the drought, the water providers participating in NISP and project supporters will recognize firefighters’ efforts during the recent wave of fires in Colorado.”
The Fort Lupton Historical Park, just west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 85 and 14th Street, will have interpreters and historical displays on hand. The fort, established in 1837, is significant in water history because Lancaster Lupton built it next to the South Platte River, the lifeblood and transportation artery for early travelers and a key water source still today.
NISP is a regional water supply project coordinated by the Northern Water on behalf of 15 Front Range water providers. The project includes two new reservoirs — Glade Reservoir, north of Horsetooth Reservoir, and Galeton Reservoir, east of Ault — two pumping stations and pipelines. NISP would supply participating water providers with approximately 40,000 acre-feet of water annually and will require about 7 miles of U.S. Highway 287 north of Poudre Canyon to be rerouted.
Northern Water is currently completing a supplemental environmental impact statement for NISP that it plans to submit to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by the end of the year. In June, the Corps estimated that the supplemental EIS for NISO will be released to the public in the fall of 2013, and a draft EIS for the Halligan and Seaman Water Supply Projects, which could also have an impact on the Cache la Poudre River, will be released for public comment the following summer.
Construction cannot begin until the Corps issues a final record of decision. NISP has been in the works since the late 1980s; the Common Technical Platform looking at the cumulative impacts on the river of all three projects was implemented in February 2009.
For more information, go to www.gladereservoir.org.