@NorthernWater board sets #Colorado-Big Thompson quota = 80%

Map of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project via Northern Water

Here’s the release from the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Jeff Stahla):

Strong regional water storage coupled with below-average precipitation prompted the Northern Water Board of Directors to increase its 2018 quota allocation for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to 80 percent.

The Board unanimously approved the allocation at its meeting Thursday at Northern Water’s Berthoud headquarters.

Sarah Smith, a water resources engineer at Northern Water, said total storage in the region was above average for the fifth-straight year. While Colorado precipitation has been below average this winter, recent storms boosted the snowpack in the northern portion of the state.

“The Poudre basin did benefit quite a bit from those storms,” she said.

Water Resources Manager Andy Pineda recommended the 80 percent quota to the Board based on the existing snowpack totals, runoff projections, regional water storage and input from water users.

The 80 percent quota increases available C-BT Project water supplies by 93,000 acre-feet from the initial 50 percent quota made available in November.

Water from the C-BT Project supplements other sources for 33 cities and towns, 120 agricultural irrigation companies, various industries and other water users within Northern Water’s 1.6 million-acre service area. According to recent Census figures, 960,000 residents now live inside Northern Water’s boundaries.

To learn more about Northern Water and the C-BT quota, visit http://www.northernwater.org.

From The Greeley Tribune (Tyler Silvy):

While much of the state is facing drastic water shortages, shareholders in the Colorado Big Thompson project will see better than average return on their investment this year, according to a Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District news release…

The quota this year is 80 percent, up from the average of 70 percent, a jump that represents 93,000 extra acre feet for the year.

Greeley is one of 33 cities that uses Colorado Big Thompson water, and Greeley Water and Sewer Board Chairman Harold Evans said the quota looks good for Greeley…

Northern Water got a bump thanks to a fifth-straight year of above-average reservoir storage, as well as recent storms that have boosted snowpack in the state’s northern regions. Reservoir storage this year is 25 percent higher than normal, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service snowpack report released this past week.

Colorado Big Thompson water is used by 33 cities and towns, as well as 120 agricultural irrigation companies, various industries and other water users, according to the release. Nearly one million residents live within Northern Water’s service area.

The announcement will help farmers and municipalities plan water use for the year. About 70 percent of the contracts for Colorado Big Thompson water are owned by municipalities, but the usage is about 50 percent for farmers versus municipalities, as farmers often lease some water from municipalities, including Greeley.

Burt Knight, Greeley’s Water and Sewer director, said the higher quota will allow Greeley to lease some water to some of its agriculture partners.

The Greeley Water and Sewer Board will meet next week for its annual declaration regarding the snowpack and how it impacts Greeley.

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