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Save the Poudre Raises Questions about NISP Impact to Farmland

Creative Commons

A project that would divert Poudre River water into two reservoirs could hurt Northern Colorado agriculture. That’s according to a newly released report by the nonprofit Save the Poudre. But as at least one group is challenging the findings.

The report says that the Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP, could negatively impact 123,000 acres of farmland. Save the Poudre’s Gary Wockner said the effort, which is currently being evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has the potential to speed up the purchase of irrigated farms by Northern Colorado cities.

“Analysis shows us that if NISP is built, it will accelerate the subdivision and dry-up of farm ground in Northern Colorado,” he said.

But spokesperson for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District Brian Werner said it will do just the opposite.

“NISP actually maintains more agricultural farmland than if the project isn’t built,” he said.

Werner is citing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s original draft environmental impact statement, which Save the Poudre has challenged. Save the Poudre submitted its report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as it’s preparing a supplemental impact statement. That’s expected to be released sometime later this year.