Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

An open house in Fort Collins will take place Wednesday night about the controversial Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a much-needed water lifeline for communities on the fast-growing Front Range, or it’s a project that isn’t needed and will hurt ecosystems along the Poudre River.   

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Fort Collins council members voted to oppose a project calling for the creation of two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado, at least for now. The Northern Integrated Supply Project would build two reservoirs to supply water to growing towns in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties.

The city is not opposed to the idea of the project, but Fort Collins natural areas director John Stokes, in a presentation Tuesday night to council members, said the June supplemental draft environmental impact statement released by the Army Corps of Engineers fails to adequately evaluate and address environmental impacts.

"A key component that is currently missing from the environmental impact statement analysis is a quantitative temperature and water quality model," said Stokes.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

More than 400 people filled a room at the Fort Collins Hilton Wednesday night. They were waiting to speak their mind about a proposal to build two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado -- a project called the Northern Integrated Supply Project.

Their purpose is to provide water -- about 40,000 acre-feet -- to smaller Front Range communities, towns like Fort Morgan and Frederick, who lack water to supply their fast growing populations.

The water for Glade Reservoir, which at 170,000 acre-feet would be a bit larger than Horsetooth, would come from the Poudre River. Because of this, it has many opponents.  

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

Surrounded by “Save The Poudre” stickers, banners, books and swag, more than 100 people filled the community room at Fort Collins' Avogadro’s Number to learn about a proposal to build two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado. Or, more correctly -- to learn how to oppose it.

“I want to be point-blank and loud and clear that you are getting a perfectly biased viewpoint from an organization whose mission is to protect and restore the river and we will do everything we can to fight to stop this project for as long as it takes,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre, the group organizing the event.

He then led the crowd through a 10-point presentation of why the latest analysis released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Northern Integrated Supply Project was flawed.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

A proposal to build new reservoirs that would take water from the Poudre River hit a key deadline June 19. Residents of Northern Colorado can be forgiven, though, if the Northern Integrated Supply Project doesn't ring a bell. It's been seven years since the project's last deadline.

The last time NISP and its two proposed reservoirs was in the news was in 2008 and 2009, when a draft environmental impact statement was released.

Nathan Heffel / KUNC

Just west of Carter Lake in the foothills southwest of Loveland sits a rustic abandoned cabin in the middle of a rolling prairie. Soon that cabin, and the entire prairie, could be at the bottom of a lake.

It's the site of the proposed 90,000 acre-foot Chimney Hollow Reservoir. In times of high snow runoff, like right now, it could be part of the answer for water managers looking to store water that is instead just flowing downstream, right out of the state.

Wikimedia Commons

A potential piece of legislation proposed by Congressman Cory Gardner (R) regarding water storage is being criticized by Fort Collins environmental group Save the Poudre. At stake is the future of the Northern Integrated Supply Project or NISP.

Grace Hood / KUNC

The future of the South Platte River was the topic of discussion at a Longmont meeting today. The Colorado State Legislature commissioned a study to understand water distribution problems in the basin.

Grace Hood

A resource that most of us take for granted—water—was front-and-center at a regional issues summit in Loveland Wednesday.

Kirk Siegler / KUNC

Supporters of a controversial water diversion and storage project along the Poudre River in northern Colorado staged a rally yesterday in Fort Lupton, saying the current drought gripping the state is reason to fast track the stalled Northern Integrated Supply Project, or NISP.

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