By Steve Lynn April 10, 2013
LOVELAND – Colorado’s largest water wholesaler is expecting record attendance at its spring meeting Thursday as drought threatens Northern Colorado water supplies.
More than 200 people, including local government officials, farmers and ditch company representatives, have registered to attend the meeting at the Ranch in Loveland.
“It shows the interest in water this year because of the dry outlook,” Northern Water spokesman Brian Werner said. “It’s on everybody’s minds.”
The spring meeting gives water users the opportunity to offer input ahead of a decision Northern Water board members will make Friday on how much water it will distribute to users this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecasted the drought will persist or intensify in most of the state through June.
Cities such as Fort Collins and Greeley get much of their water from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project managed by Northern Water. Officials have said the cities may not get more than 50 percent of their usual share of water from the project.
Fort Collins gets 18,800 water units while Greeley receives 22,500 from the project, managed by Northern Water. A 50-percent quota means that Fort Collins would receive 9,400 acre-feet of water and Greeley would get 11,250 acre-feet. An acre-foot covers the water needs of about 2.5 families of four for one year.
Along with the quota, Northern Water officials will discuss reservoir projects Windy Gap Firming Project and Northern Integrated Supply Project as well as a study on monitoring water flows in the South Platte River Basin.
Colorado Water Conservation Board officials will present on the Colorado River Basin Study, which forecasts a shortage of more than 3 million acre-feet in Colorado River water by 2060.
The meeting is being held at the Thomas M. McKee Building at the Ranch and begins at 8 a.m.