DENVER (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper has endorsed a planned $400 million reservoir southwest of Loveland.

Hickenlooper said Wednesday the Chimney Hollow Reservoir would help ensure reliable water supplies for Front Range cities while taking steps to minimize environmental damage in western Colorado, where the water originates.

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Hickenlooper has argued the state needs more reservoirs to store water during wet years so it can be used in dry years.

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Chimney Hollow has state approval and Hickenlooper’s endorsement wasn’t required. The project is awaiting a federal permit.

Water for the reservoir would be pumped from the Windy Gap Reservoir on the Colorado River near Granby, west of the Continental Divide, through an existing tunnel to the east side of the divide.

Thirteen Front Range water providers that already own the water rights would pay for the reservoir.

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