The Fort Collins City Council voted 6-1 (with Bob Overbeck dissenting) to permit staff to continue discussions with Northern Water on Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) mitigation measures for the Poudre River. Northern Water says the proposed project includes enhancements for the river. The draft proposal includes streamflow commitments to enhance low flows and protect peak flows, stream channel and aquatic habitat improvements, fish bypass structures, wildlife habitat protection, wetland mitigation and expanded recreational opportunities.
Fort Collins is not part of NISP but argues the Poudre River, which flows through the City, could be harmed by water diversions that are part of the project. Gary Wockner, an environmental advocate from Save the Poudre who adamantly opposes the project, told the Council it would be better to break off discussions with Northern entirely but fortunately, a majority of the Council understood the importance of being at the table.
NISP will store excess water currently leaving the State in years of abundance, in Glade and Galeton reservoirs for the use and benefit of nearly 30 towns and cities located across four counties in Northern Colorado. Had the reservoirs already been built, they both would have been full from previous high run-off years.