A long-planned project that could see the construction of a massive reservoir designed to supply the water needs of some fifteen communities in northern Colorado has cleared an early hurdle.
The staff of the Larimer County Planning Department has given its approval to the awarding of a 1041 permit to build what is being called the Northern Integrated Supply Project.
That permit, according to Colorado law, allows a given project to move forward, while still being monitored by a government agency.
The project, as proposed by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, would in part see the construction of a reservoir on the northwest side of Fort Collins that upon completion will store up to 170,000 acre feet of water.
In turn, the stored water would be used to supply, through some 25 miles of pipeline, more than a dozen northern Colorado municipalities and water providers.
In documents submitted earlier this year to the planning department, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District noted that “as municipal water demands increase in northeastern Colorado, there is an ongoing and growing threat to nearby irrigated farmland.”
Without the construction of the reservoir, the document continues, “it is projected that more than 60,000 acres of irrigated agriculture may ultimately disappear.”
A review decision regarding the project by the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to be published later this year.
Members of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, meanwhile, could vote sometime this summer on granting the project a 1041 permit.
By Garry Boulard