FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – Greeley and Fort Collins are raising concerns about a $600 million project that would pump water from the Cache la Poudre River into two new northern Colorado reservoirs.
The Fort Collins City Council voted Tuesday to oppose the Northern Integrated Supply Project as currently planned, citing concerns about how the quality and quantity of river water will be affected, the Coloradoan newspaper reported.
Council members cited other concerns, but they left open the possibility of dropping their opposition if those issues are addressed.
Greeley city officials said Tuesday they support the project but studies of water flow and quality were inadequate. They said the project would reduce flows in the river, increasing Greeley’s costs for treating drinking water and restoring wildlife habitat along the river, the Greeley Tribune reported.
The Poudre flows through both cities, although neither is participating in the project or would benefit from it.
Project spokesman Brian Werner said Wednesday backers of the reservoirs have studied the impact thoroughly and want to work with affected cities.
Fifteen northern Colorado cities and water districts would pay for the project and get water from it, Werner said. They have a combined population of 225,000 and are expected to grow to about 500,000 by 2050, he said.
Dams would be built north of Fort Collins and Greeley, and water would be pumped from the Poudre into the reservoirs in wet years.
The Army Corps of Engineers is revising its environmental impact statement on the project, a necessary step for federal approval.
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