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Northern Colorado communities partner to build $150 million water pump station and pipeline

Several northern Colorado towns are partnering together to construct a $150 million pump station and pipeline in anticipation of a major population boom in the coming years. 

Windsor, Severance and Eaton are partnering with the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District to construct the system in the coming years.

“I am excited,” said Chris Pletcher, GM of the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District. “That project brings an additional source of water to this region to help us supply new growth.” “This project is a big benefit to this region,” Pletcher said.

The pipeline and pump station would pull from a future reservoir which is expected to be built northwest of Fort Collins. That project is known as the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), and it would build Glade Reservoir over a portion of what currently is Highway 287 between Fort Collins and Laramie, Wyoming.

Many northern Colorado communities have partnered with NISP in the hope of keeping a larger portion of the water from the Poudre River in northern Colorado.

“To keep that water in northern Colorado, it is essential we don’t let it go down the stream. Right now, we don’t have a place to store that water,” Pletcher said.

Northern Colorado’s population is expected to double in the coming 25 years.

With that in mind, the previously mentioned communities and water districts are forming the Cobb Laker Regional Water Treatment Authority.

The NISP project is currently being contested in court, as reported by CBS News Colorado earlier this week. A group called “Save The Poudre” filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers arguing the reservoir isn’t needed.

If the reservoir is completed, the new pipeline and pump station would tap into it and disperse millions of gallons of water a day to the entities involved in the project.

Shane Hale, town manager of Windsor, told CBS News Colorado’s Dillon Thomas that the reservoir and new pipeline should supply Windsor’s future growth.

“NISP will more or less satisfy out future water needs,” Hale said.

Those in the newly formed water treatment authority will split the costs of the project proportionally. All entities will split the bill for the pump station and initial pipeline.

And, as the pipeline continues to break off into different communities, only those utilizing that portion of the pipeline will have to pay for that portion.

Hale said, in Windsor, the hope is that current residents will not have to pay for the project which is intended to help with future growth. Rather, he said the goal is for future residents to pay the bill through different permit fees.

If everything goes to plan, the pipeline and pump station could begin construction as soon as 2027.

Hale said this project would assure communities across the region would have access to clean water even in times of concern, thanks to the group effort.

“If we have a fire in one watershed for one of our partners, the other three partners can still have water that will be delivered to the plant,” Hale said. “We still have a lot of great natural water resources to put to use.”

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