Securing the future of water
By the year 2050, the population of the Northern Front Range will double. Water is a valuable and limited resource that we all need. Fort Collins-Loveland Water District is dedicated to preparing for the future and developing a smart and dependable water portfolio to ensure the water needs of all current and future customers is met.
Where does our water come from?
FCLWD currently gets its water from the North Poudre Irrigation Company, Colorado-Big Thompson (C-BT) project, Josh Ames, Divide Canal and Reservoir Company, and Windsor Reservoir Company. While we have enough water for all existing customers in our service area, and for the growth we are currently experiencing, we will need an additional 8,000 acre-feet of water to meet the demand of our growing service area by 2032.
What’s an acre-foot? An acre-foot is equal to 325,851 gallons of water or one football field of water one foot deep.
What are we doing to prepare for the future?
To close the anticipated gap, FCLWD is looking to other water source options, including the Northern Integrated Water Supply Project (NISP). NISP is a proposed water storage and distribution project that will supply 15 Northern Front Range water partners with 40,000 acre-feet of new, reliable water supplies. This project includes two reservoirs in Northern Colorado.
FCLWD’s portion of NISP is estimated at $82.5 million (2017 dollars), dedicating 3,000 acre-feet of water to the communities we serve. In addition, FCLWD, with other water providers, is planning for additional water treatment needs, which will include the construction of a regional water treatment plant. FCLWD’s estimated cost for the treatment plant is $32 million (2017 dollars). Because most of this water source is intended to supply growth in the communities we serve, it will be paid primarily with tap fees that developers pay when they build new homes and commercial buildings in our communities—not by current customers of FCLWD.
Benefits of NISP
- By being a part of this collaborative regional water supply project, FCLWD is included in developing a long-range strategy that ensures we can secure our water future.
- NISP will store water currently leaving the state in years when we have an excess supply. Since 2009, more than 5.5 million acre-feet of water left Colorado. Through an exchange with two local ditch companies, the project will provide some water in all years, but more when we have an abundant supply.
- NISP helps protect our valuable farmlands. Without NISP, cities will accelerate their purchase of farmland to dry it out and transfer the water to cities. This project has been endorsed by every major agricultural organization in Colorado because they estimate the loss of an additional 60,000 acres of irrigated farmland without NISP.
- NISP includes a Fish and Wildlife Mitigtion Enhancement Plan to address Poudre River Flows including an operational configuration that will eliminate existing dry-up points and improve streamflows. The program results in little to no diversions during peak flow conditions during 90 percent of the year.
Visit northernwater.org to learn more about the regional water supply project that will help secure the water future in the communities we serve.