12:41pm

Tue September 20, 2011
Water

Bountiful Water Supply for Much of Colorado This Year

Federal climate scientists say the next three months will be tough for drought-plagued Texas and some neighboring states, including Colorado.

But even after a relatively dry summer – especially for the southeastern region of the state - most reservoirs in northern Colorado are at or near capacity, thanks largely to last winter’s record or near-record mountain snowpack.

“Our engineers, our forecasters have been using the word ‘epic’ all year; and they said we’re never going to see another runoff year like this,” says Brian Werner, a spokesman for Northern Water.

He notes that there’s no such thing as an ‘average’ water year – which is why the agency is proposing the construction of two additional reservoirs.

“We’re either above or we’re below. You’re always trying to match those good years, and store that water so you’ve got it in those dry years,” he says.

Front Range residents remain divided over the proposal, citing lowered water levels in the Poudre River and the potential loss of irrigated farmland.  But Werner says that this year’s runoff, combined with the previous two years, would have filled one of the proposed reservoirs while still providing downstream users with above average supplies.