Northern Water: NISP momentum captured at rally

Northern Integrated Supply Project preferred alternative
Northern Integrated Supply Project preferred alternative

From email from Northern Water:

More than 150 Northern Integrated Supply Project supporters rallied at Northern Water’s headquarters on July 2 to celebrate momentum created by the recent release of the Project’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Speakers U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, State Senators Mary Hodge and Jerry Sonnenberg, Chris Smith (Left Hand Water District general manager and NISP Participants Committee chairman) and Eric Wilkinson (Northern Water general manager) addressed an enthusiastic audience comprised of NISP participant representatives, mayors, county commissioners, lawmakers and private citizens.

Common themes shared by the speakers included the importance of attending the Supplemental Draft EIS public hearings, hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers July 22 and 23; and building the project as soon as possible to capture and store water to meet the needs of future generations.

“My challenge to everyone at this rally is to come with their family, friends and neighbors to attend the public hearings in Fort Collins and Greeley,” said Buck.

Sen. Gardner noted, “This year, 1.3 million acre feet of water that NISP would have captured flowed out of Colorado and we didn’t even get a thank you note from Nebraska.”

NISP Called “The Ultimate Rain Barrel”
State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg echoed the others in discussing Glade’s potential to store water. “There’s been a lot of talk about using rain barrels this year. Well, we’ve got to find a way to keep Colorado’s water in Colorado. We have the ultimate rain barrel, ready to be filled, right up the road here.”

Several speakers warned that without NISP, more farmland will be dried up as water providers find necessary supplies for their needs. The SDEIS studies show this could lead to a dry-up of an additional 100 square miles of irrigated farmland – an area approximately twice the size as the City of Fort Collins.

“That would mean a $400 million loss of agricultural output,” said Gardner. “That is economic devastation. We can’t keep pushing it down the road. The longer this takes, the higher the cost, and the more acres that get dried up,” he added.

Poudre River will be Enhanced
Poudre River Trust board members Joe Rowan and Jim Reidhead said what excites them most about NISP are enhancement opportunities for the Poudre River. “NISP will protect recreation and habitat in the Poudre Canyon for everyone to enjoy,” said Rowan.

“We support NISP, added Reidhead. “The Poudre is a working river and NISP would enhance habitat while keeping the river healthy and sustainable – it can be done.”

We need your support at the upcoming NISP public hearings hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is critical to have as many NISP supporters as possible attend and testify why they believe the Supplemental Draft EIS findings are sound and why the project is critical to northern Colorado.

Dates and locations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public hearings on the NISP Supplemental Draft EIS are:

Wednesday, July 22
Hilton Fort Collins
425 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Thursday, July 23
Weld County Administration Building
1150 O Street
Greeley, CO 80631

The public hearings begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be preceded by open houses beginning at 5:00 p.m.

If you wish to submit your comments in writing, they must be submitted by September 3, 2015. Submit to:

John Urbanic, NISP EIS Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Denver Regulatory Office
9307 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Littleton, CO 80129

More Northern Integrated Supply Project coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply