Update from Northern Water
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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01:48 PM -- Update from Northern Water (NISP, Senate Bill 17-282, and Windy Gap Firming
Eric Wilkinson, General Manager, Northern Water, introduced himself to the committee.
Carl Brouwer, Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) Project Manager, introduced himself to the committee and gave a brief background of NISP. Mr Brouwer distributed a map of the NISP Refined Conveyance (Attachment B) and a map showing the NISP as a whole (Attachment C). Mr. Brouwer discussed the yield of NISP, which is approximately 40,000 acre-feet, and how NISP would increase storage. He discussed Glade Reservoir and associated improvements, such as new inlet and outlet works, a new pump station, and a road relocation. Mr. Brouwer also discussed the South Platte Water Conservation Project and the permitting status for the project. Mr. Brouwer stated that the design of the Glade Reservoir is underway and construction on the reservoir should begin by 2020. He stated that the reservoir should be online by 2025, with the South Platter Water Conservation Project being online by 2026.
Attachment B.pdf Attachment C.pdf
Jerry Gibbens, NISP Mitigation Coordinator, introduced himself to the committee and provided a brief history and status of fish and wildlife mitigation, as it relates to NISP. He gave a background of the State of Colorado Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan (FWMEP), and described the NISP FWMEP. He discussed the cost of the plan and the effects the plan has on the stream flow of the Poudre River. Mr. Gibbens discussed the funding of the FWMEP and the effects of NISP on fish and wildlife in the region.
Mr. Brouwer responded to questions from the committee concerning the cost of the relocation of Highway 287 as a part of NISP. He discussed the involvement and coordination the project has had with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the cost of the relocation project. Mr. Brouwer responded to further questions from the committee regarding the amount of water being pumped into Glade Reservoir from the Cache La Poudre River. He discussed the hydrology of the Poudre River. Mr. Gibbens answered questions from the committee regarding conservation easements in the NISP-affected areas and how the FWMEP would affect hunting and fishing access.
Mr. Brouwer discussed the Glade Reservoir and South Platte Water Conservation water rights and how NISP would affect downstream water right holders.
Mr. Wilkinson discussed the environmental reservoir release dedications on the Poudre River under Senate Bill 17-282. The bill would have created a process by which a storage water right owner may obtain a water court decree authorizing releases to be delivered downstream for decreed beneficial uses by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). The releases would be used in the intervening stream reach to preserve or improve the natural environment, if certain conditions were met. Mr. Wilkinson discussed possible future legislation that would create a similar process. He responded to questions from the committee regarding the proposed legislation. Committee discussion ensued regarding SB 17-282 and the construction of storage projects and other mitigation projects. Mr. Wilkinson responded to additional questions from the committee.
Mr. Wilkinson discussed the Windy Gap Firming Project and gave the committee a brief background of the project. The project has 12 participants and seeks to build Chimney Hollow Reservoir to provide an additional yield, no matter the hydrology, of 30,000 acre-feet a year. The project would cost approximately $400 million. The final environmental impact statement was finished in 2011. Mr. Wilkinson distributed a map of the area impacted by the project, noting where the proposed reservoir would be constructed (Attachment D). Mr. Wilkinson discussed how the Windy Gap Project would tie into the Colorado Big Thompson Project and gave an update of the current timeline of the project and funding of the project. Mr. Wilkinson responded to questions from the committee regarding the project.