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off_piste 03-25-2008 08:33 AM

The Poudre is Threatened!
The Army Corps of Engineers' Environmental Impact Statement on the Poudre reservoir project is due next month. This is the first step towards damning the Poudre. Read about it here:

Divide develops over dam - The Denver Post

Livingston 03-25-2008 10:11 AM

Looks like it would be siphoned off somewhere below the Filter Plant run. It wouldn't affect the standard runs (from my understanding of the map) but forget about a playpark in Fort Collins.


Dave Frank 03-25-2008 10:58 AM


Originally Posted by Livingston (Post 89761)
Looks like it would be siphoned off somewhere below the Filter Plant run. It wouldn't affect the standard runs (from my understanding of the map) but forget about a playpark in Fort Collins.


Oh good, they should just do it then...;)

FatmanZ 03-25-2008 11:01 AM

Good article, thxs for posting
Good article, thxs for posting

off_piste 03-25-2008 01:33 PM


Originally Posted by Livingston (Post 89761)
Looks like it would be siphoned off somewhere below the Filter Plant run. It wouldn't affect the standard runs (from my understanding of the map) but forget about a playpark in Fort Collins.


Yes, forget about a playpark in Fort Collins. This is exactly the problem. Kayaking is a quickly growing sport. Existing playholes will get crowded as more people get into the sport. When we want to build a playpark in Downtown Fort Collins 15 years from now, where will the water be? It will be sitting in Glade Reservoir for people to water their lawns. There will be no water for a playpark.

Additionally, and just as importantly, the ecosystems below the new reservoir will be harmed as pointed out on

"If Glade is constructed, flushing flows at or above 2,000 cfs will be rare, occurring only about 5 years out of 20, essentially eliminating quality recreation along the river and turning the river into the same algal-clogged vestige found in Greeley today."

Rivers clogged with Algae cannot support healthy ecosystems.

We need to protect the water we have, or it will be gone forever to new developments along the front range. I would encourage everyone reading this thread to get involved, even if you don't recreate on the Poudre. This situation where water is increasingly being siphoned off rivers for new developments is happening all across the front range. A good place to get more information is Let's send a strong message to developers and growing communities along the front range that we want to keep our whitewater.

johng 03-25-2008 02:35 PM

Apologies in advance for the length - this is a big and important issue.

Evaluation of NISP is actually a far more complicated issue than first meets the eye - one that all advocates for the Poudre should watch.

Here's some info from preliminary documents, the presentation to the Ft Collins City Council, and discussion with the Corps of Engineer reviewer, and of course some of my evaluation and opinions.

First, all projections are that peak flows on the Poudre will diminish, as will flows at other times when calls from those with senior water rights are met I.e., 'surplus' water is available for storage. I think the maximum diversion is 1200 cfs, so in huge years there might still be 3,000 or 4,000 cfs through town, but the frequency of this will obvious diminish. For those so inclined, these frequencies can be estimated from USGS data. There a claim that in-town flows could actually be enhances at certain times during summer with suitable management of in-town diversions. This would occur by consolidating some existing in-town diversions and moving them to a point farther downstream.

Here's an interesting point - if Glade is built, it may be possible to consistently and substantially increase, and both monitor and enforce, in-stream flows during low flow periods (e.g., winter). If Glade is not build, the status quo will likely persist - no monitoring, no enforcement, and water use determined by a large number of independently managed diversions. For the dried up river bed, this is effectively death from a thousand small cuts and is what we currently experience. Well, actually dead from a few gaping wounds, but who's counting ....

On the diversion point: earlier documents suggested diverting at the canyon mouth, which will then require huge pumps to raise the water to the elevation of the reservoir. There has also been talk about moving the diversion point higher up in the canyon, which would potentially support future (as yet unspecified) projects. It'll be interesting to see what appears in the EIS. In the long run, this could be very important.

There are many reasons to be skeptical of Glade, including the incredible early projections of water yield to fill the reservoir and the ability to maintain a consistent water level in the reservoir (i.e., avoid weed-infested or bare soil banks). This dam will most certainly not preserve farm land or the agricultural industries. It almost certainly will fuel growth in areas that many of us think are inappropriate, and it will burden a number of small communities with almost unimaginable debt structures. This debt, by itself, must be serviced by growth.

On the other hand, it's hard to imagine a stable or declining demand for water, particularly given population growth and climate change projections. It might be better to have one 800 lb gorilla to deal with - especially one with regulatory authority and the resources to enforce legal commitments for in-stream flows or other ecological considerations. And it means we won't be repeatedly facing similar battles. Some feel we'll eventual lose one of these battles, and it might be better to settle with the devil you know rather than the devil you don't.

So we should all stay tuned, try to be well informed, and prepare for yet another battle. Regardless of the outcome, decisions on NISP will have profound effects on the Poudre, probably for the rest of our lives. I'm still opposed to the project, but I'll go forward with eyes wide open and brain as engaged as possible.


seanwkim 03-25-2008 04:26 PM

Props to the explanation,

The Denver Post article fails to explain the full picture of this proposed project to the public, (i.e. Using the existing diversion on the Poudre at the canyon mouth and existing ag water use) and it even used info and pics from the NCWCD website.

Here is a link which provides more background...

I'm opposed to the ends that this project provides the means for...

Although much more complex socially, smart growth (mitigating sprawl) and conservation efforts must be addressed, before another 2002 or worse (multi-year drought) comes around and leaves people "in the dust".


Randaddy 03-25-2008 05:12 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Go ahead and build it. Hayduke and I will be waiting!

the_dude 03-25-2008 05:15 PM

johng - please help me understand how there can be 3k to 4k flowing through town in "huge years" when the highest the gauge at the mouth of the canyon ever gets in most years is around 1,500 to 1,600. also, i believe there are still a few good-sized diversions between said gauge and town, so that would mean an even smaller flow through town than the reported 1,500 to 1,600. 4k would be like two arkansas rivers at peak flowing through fort collins. i sure don't see that in the summer, but maybe that's my poor memory.

caspermike 03-25-2008 05:19 PM

why build houses where the system can barely support it?

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