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Water Project Supporters Rally in Northern Colorado

Photo by Kirk Siegler
Congressman Cory Gardner (R-Colo) was among the speakers at a rally in support of the NISP project at the Larimer County Fairground.

Supporters of a large, proposed water storage project in northern Colorado staged what was billed as a jobs and economy rally in Loveland Thursday. 

Colorado Republican Congressman Cory Gardner was among the speakers.  He said says the Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP, would be a boost to the economy of northeastern Colorado.  

"We have to recognize that jobs and economic development across this state, are tied to our ability to store and deliver, clean, affordable water," Gardner said.

Gardner said Colorado businesses and farmers are suffering due to a lack of stable water supply in Colorado.  

NISP is currently under review by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  If approved, the project would divert water from the Poudre River in northern Colorado and then store it in a pair of reservoirs near Fort Collins. 

Opponents worry that would have severe ecological impacts on the already-stressed river.  The group Save the Poudre has proposed more conservation and water sharing agreements with farmers as an alternative. 

The "Water, Jobs and Economy" rally was organized by Northern Water, which has proposed the project and said conservationists' proposals still won't meet future population demand. 


Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.
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