From email from Northern Water (Jeff Stahla):
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Record of Decision for the Northern Integrated Supply Project. This is a major milestone for NISP, as it reflects the lead federal regulatory agency’s review and approval of the Project.
The Corps’ approval was based on a lengthy and rigorous scientific analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act and a host of other environmental laws, including the federal Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act, State Water Quality compliance certification, and State Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Plan requirements.
The Corps has concluded that the Project’s 40,000 acre-foot yield will meet a substantial amount of the 15 Northern Front Range participants’ future water need and that NISP is the least environmentally impactful means of satisfying that need. The Corps considered a range of other potential alternative approaches, including the adverse impacts to the region if no federal action was taken.
“This action is the culmination of nearly 20 years of study, project design and refinement to develop water resources well into the 21st century,” said Northern Water General Manager Brad Wind. “This Project will also allow participating communities to serve their customers without targeting water now used on the region’s farms.”
Through the federal permitting process, the Project was refined to further avoid and minimize environmental impacts and provide mitigation and enhancements to river-related resources. NISP’s operations will send more water down the Poudre River and through downtown Fort Collins in most months of the year, providing additional flows through the city in late summer, fall and winter than currently exist. NISP will also offer significant new flatwater recreation opportunities to everyone.
NISP includes Glade Reservoir, Galeton Reservoir, and associated project infrastructure to deliver high-quality water to more than 250,000 Northeastern Colorado residents.
Participants in the Project include the Town of Erie, Town of Windsor, City of Fort Morgan, Town of Frederick, City of Evans, City of Fort Lupton, Town of Eaton, Town of Severance, City of Lafayette, Town of Firestone, and City of Dacono, as well as the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District, Left Hand Water District, Central Weld County Water District, and the Morgan County Quality Water District.
Learn more about NISP at www.NISPwater.org.