Running out of space in quest to store water

February 1, 2012
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One of five major proposed water storage projects in Larimer County that are in various stages of planning, NISP calls for storing about 170,000 acre-feet of Poudre River water in the proposed Glade Reservoir north of Ted’s Place. A final decision could come sometime in 2013 or 2014.

“We’re in the hurry-up-and- wait mode,” Werner said. “We’re stuck in the process.”

A supplement to a draft environmental review for NISP and Glade Reservoir being prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected later this year.

“There are very serious questions that need to be addressed, including how and if the water will be used for (hydraulic) fracking, what the impact will be on wetlands along the river, and, three, the real scientifically determined impact on farms and agriculture,” said Save the Poudre Executive Director Gary Wockner. “Those are the three big ones we’re going to be looking for.”

The other four proposed projects include expansions to Fort Collins’ Halligan Reservoir and Greeley’s Seaman Reservoir, the Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Carter Lake and the more uncertain Cactus Hill Reservoir proposed for a site on the Weld County line between Wellington and Nunn.

If those projects are built, Waskom said, it’s hard to conceive of other such large projects being built in Northern Colorado regardless of the need because there are few other places to build them, at least in Larimer County.

“Unless we can get Aaron Million’s project or a West Slope diversion built, we don’t have any more water left,” he said.

Now, he said, it’s time to start considering new ways to find and store water, including figuring out how to store water underground, implementing greater water conservation measures and striking water diversion agreements with water districts on Colorado’s Western Slope.

“We’re going to need every single one of those tools in the box to get to where we need to go,” Waskom said.

But those tools may not include major new reservoir projects for this region beyond the ones already on the table, he said.

“All the easy projects have been built,” he said. “Now we’re dealing with the hard projects. What comes after the projects, that’s the question, right? Where’s the water and reservoir sites, and where’s the political will to build projects?”

Article source: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20120201/NEWS01/202010345/Running-out-space-quest-store-water?odyssey=nav%7Chead The feed :

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