Energy, Utilities & Water  September 23, 2021

Northern Water, two others get state stimulus water grants

BERTHOUD — Three water projects in the region will get $4.7 million from the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The board’s giving doubled this year due to COVID-related stimulus funds.

Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District in Berthoud is getting $3.8 million toward connecting the Colorado River above and below the Windy Gap reservoir in Grand County, district spokesman Jeff Stahla said.

The work is associated with the construction of Chimney Hollow reservoir in Larimer County. The channel connection will cost $26 million. The grant goes for the channel, which is still being designed.

“Colorado River Connectivity Channel is a major modification to Windy Gap,” Stahla said. He said the channel’s funding is nearly complete. The grant “isn’t the final piece. We anticipate all the pieces coming together” by mid-2022.

Two other area projects got grants.

A “Poudre Headwaters Restoration – Grand Ditch Barrier” effort by Colorado Trout Unlimited in Denver got about $300,000 toward restoring 38 miles of stream and 110 acres of lake habitat. The specific project involves the Greenback cutthroat trout.

A $1.2 million irrigation infrastructure effort got half its costs from this round of water board funds. The grantee is Colorado State University, through its Fort Collins campus, to use on work to boost water and energy efficiency and agricultural production. The specific project is to build storage ponds, upgrade the existing equipment and add irrigation systems and other infrastructure for research on soil and crops and to launch a farm management competition to improve agricultural profitability.

Both projects are in Larimer County.

This article has been corrected to reflect that Northern Water’s new channel connects not two reservoirs but one reservoir and the Colorado River, and that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation isn’t involved in the new channel or an owner of Windy Gap reservoir.

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