A 100 percent quota for Colorado-Big Thompson Project water was approved today by the Northern Water Board of Directors. Their decision bolsters this year’s C-BT water supplies by 31,000 acre feet with a 10 percent increase from the quota set in April.
Despite paltry snowpack and dismal streamflow forecasts, recent abundant water years replenished C-BT reservoirs enough to give directors the option to increase the quota for a second time this year, demonstrating the value of reservoir storage.
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Directors based their decision on the agricultural community’s needs for more water as they plan for the crop-growing season. The board concluded that this is the type of year when a 100 percent quota is needed, based on record-low snowpack readings and streamflow forecasts similar to the drought of 2002.
“The smaller agricultural producers need this water this year,” said Don Magnuson, director from Weld County. “We have an obligation to take care of the little guys.”
The C-BT quota sets the percentage of an acre foot that a C-BT allottee will receive during the current water year for every unit of C-BT water the allottee owns. The 100 percent quota means that each unit will yield one acre foot. This is the tenth time the water year’s total quota has reached 100 percent in the C-BT Project’s 55-year history of full water deliveries.
To learn more about C-BT quota and see historical decisions from 1957 to now, visit www.northernwater.org.