Larimer County Commissioners Vote Two to One to Approve Construction of Glade Reservoir

An arial view of the proposed site of Glade Reservoir looking south. Horsetooth Reservoir can be seen in the background. Image courtesy of

Steven Bonifazi

The Larimer County Planning Commission voted and approved the Northern Integrated Supply Project 1041 permit Wednesday, September 2 at 6:30 pm on the first floor of the hearing room at 200 W. Oak St. after discussing a long-range master plan and recommendations on zoning, rezoning, subdivisions, and special reviews regarding Glade Reservoir. 

Opposing organizations were not happy with the vote, stating that the Commissioner’s votes went against all signs that the project will negatively affect residents.

We are not surprised with tonight’s 2-1 vote, but bitterly disappointed as we envision NISP’s wide-ranging impacts on our Larimer County homes, properties, and quality of life,” said Karen Wagner of the No Pipe Dream, LLC. 

With this permit request now approved, NISP needs one more final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by the end of this year to begin construction. If the final approval is passed, 215,000 acres of water will be stored and transferred to 15 cities across the front range.

“The vote is not a surprise, given that Commissioners Donnelly and Johnson have repeatedly expressed support for this project,” said Karyn Coppinger, resident landowner and member of Save Rural NoCo. “Grassroots organization Save Rural NoCo had, however, hoped that the commissioners would put the uniquely northern Colorado land and communities, and the health of the Poudre River, before misguided desires for a new flatwater reservoir,” Karyn said.

The meeting contained talking points from the applicant, Northern Water covering conditions of approval, approval criteria, site selection, and impacts to places like Eagle Lake Drive for the proposed Glade Reservoir. Additionally, among the commissioner’s main concerns were pipelines hugging one side of property owners’ properties.

“Far from trying to let Northern Water off the hook, I am actually trying to give property owners a greater ability to influence where these lines might be in the event that this got approved,” said Tom Donnelly, District 3 Commissioner for Larimer County.

Pipelines are as follows:

  • Northern Tier Pipeline: Commences at Glade Reservoir follows US 287 to CR 21, then east to Eagle Lake and SH 1, then southeast to Grey Rock Road, then east to I-25, then southeast to CR 52, then east to the County Line Pipeline.
  • Glade Release/Poudre Release Pipeline: Commences at the reservoir and runs southwest to the Poudre River.
  • Poudre Intake Pipeline: Withdraws water from the Poudre River upstream of the Mulberry Water Reclamation facility, then flows southeast to a settling pond and pump station south of Mulberry Ave. on Kingfisher Natural Area, then south and east to just north of the Poudre River, then crosses Summitview Ave. south of Sunrise Acres, then east south of Boxelder Estates to I-25, then southeast crossing Prospect Road to the Platte River Power Authority power line, then east to the county line.
  • County Line Pipeline: Starting at the intersection of CR 1 or Weld County Road 13 and CR 52, then south following the alignment of the county line through the Towns of Timnath, Windsor and Johnstown to the south County line.

Northern Integrated Supply Project, File #20-ZONE2657; Request 1041 Permit for:

  1. The siting and development of a water storage facility (Glade Reservoir), including recreational uses, facilities, and other appurtenances, in accordance with Section 14.4.K of the Larimer County Land Use Code, and
  2. The siting and development of four separate raw water line segments, including supporting facilities and appurtenances, in accordance with Section 14.4.J. of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

The meeting came to a close with Steve Johnson, District 2 Commissioner for Larimer County comparing the Big Thompson River Project with NISP, stating that this proposed project aims to keep water in our basin and municipal use of water happens several times, helping to meet obligations to downstream states.

“If all we do is think about ourselves and not our region, that is somewhat selfish and hypocritical and it belies our past,” Commissioner Johnson said.

With support from Commissioner Johnson, a motion for the Larimer County Commissioners to support the NISP 1041 permit was voted on, with the motion carried on a two to one vote to support the permit and the meeting was adjourned.

For more information regarding the meeting, visit:

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