9/15/2023 For Immediate Release Contact: Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310, email@example.com Life or Death of the Cache la Poudre River May Escalate to Colorado Supreme Court Cache la Poudre River, CO: Yesterday, a state district court in Larimer County, CO, ruled against considering the "Poudre River Option" as a conveyance for delivering water downstream to water users, and instead supported a massive 6-foot diameter pipeline that would drain an additional 13 billion gallons of water/year out of the Poudre River before the River reaches Fort Collins. The court's decision is posted here. The ruling sided with former Larimer County Commissioners who supported a 1041 permit for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) in an October 2020 decision. The ruling didn't just dismiss the Poudre River Option but completely neglected to discuss it although the lawsuit brought by Save The Poudre, as well as Save The Poudre's engagement in the permit process back in 2020, extensively argued in support of using the River as the conveyance for water. Save The Poudre's response brief in the lawsuit, arguing extensively for the Poudre River Option, is posted here (see pages 19 - 26). "NISP wants to take 13 billion gallons of water out of the Poudre River every year and put that water in a pipeline that runs near the River and then crosses the River miles downstream near Windsor," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "Using the River as the conveyance for this water, rather than a massive pipeline, is a common-sense compromise that protects the Poudre River as well as saves hundreds of millions of dollars on pipeline costs." Both NISP and a parallel project, the Thornton Pipeline, propose to divert Poudre River water into massive pipelines upstream of Fort Collin rather than use the river as a conveyance to get the water downstream. The Thornton Pipeline expects to put in a new application to Larimer County in the coming weeks, while NISP likely faces more court battles as Save The Poudre considers its options for appeal. Further, NISP faces a potential court battle over a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and NISP needs a permit from the City of Fort Collins. See the image above, as well as page 3 of the court's ruling, which depicts how NISP would divert a massive amount of water out of the Poudre River into the proposed Glade Reservoir, and then put that water in the "NISP Delivery Pipeline" that would run across Larimer County north of the Poudre River, and then run all the way down along I-25 to Windsor where it would cross the Poudre River. "We believe that the state's highest court may need to decide, once and for all, whether the Poudre River lives or dies," said Wockner. "We are considering our options to appeal this district court decision because Nature created a perfectly good pipeline that runs all the way through Fort Collins and Larimer County -- Nature's pipeline is called the "Cache la Poudre River." This press…
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
Fort Collins Refuses To Implement Water Conservation Measures To Save Ratepayers’ Money
Legal Battle Over Massive Halligan Dam Looms
Fort Collins, CO: Today, Save The Poudre sent its comments on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed massive new Halligan Dam on the North Fork of the Poudre River to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The massive new dam is proposed to be built by the City of Fort Collins Water Utility to meet so-called “drought protection”.
Save The Poudre’s comments are posted here.
Specifically, Save The Poudre points out in its comments:
- The City and the Army Corps completely fail to provide a cost comparison of the alternatives which makes the FEIS meaningless.
- The City Water Utility completely fails to discuss water conservation measures that would replace the need for the over $300 million new dam.
- The City Water Utility’s water use has been going down, not up, for the last 20 years, but the FEIS relies on water-use data that is now 10 years old while predicting that the higher 10-year old water use will persist for the next 25 years.
- The City Water Utility claims it needs more water to also lease water to farmers in northern Larimer County, but completely ignores the fact that the Utility’ charter is legally disallowed from raising rates on ratepayers to serve water to farmers outside the Utility boundary.
“Nearly 20 years ago when this big dumb dam project was supposed to only cost $35 million, I stood in front of the City Council and told them that water conservation was faster, easier, cheaper, and more environmentally sustainable than a massive new dam,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “Now here we are two decades later when the cost of the dam is 10 times higher and the City still refuses to implement aggressive water conservation.”
“This project is an extreme waste of ratepayers’ money, and the Environmental Impact Statement appears to violate the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act,” said Wockner. “We urge the Corps to deny the permit and force the City to implement aggressive water conservation.”