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Northern Water December Newsletter
Northern Water
Northern Water launches water efficiency grant program

Northern Water officials have created a new grant program to help public and private organizations improve their efficiency when using water in Northern Colorado.

Called the Collaborative Water Efficient Landscape Grant Program, the $5,000-$15,000 matching grants will help to pay for new or redeveloped Colorado climate-friendly landscapes that require minimal or no irrigation. As part of this program, Northern Water will provide signs and other materials to allow the selected projects to serve as water efficiency demonstration and education sites. Eligible groups include those who manage public facilities, private businesses, schools, multi-family residential complexes and homeowners' associations within Northern Water's boundaries, which include much of Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties as well as portions of Broomfield, Morgan, Washington, Logan and Sedgwick counties.

Examples include the adoption of third-party landscape certifications, changes to HOA-managed common areas, municipal properties, park renovations and more.

"There is a lot of excitement surrounding this new program," said Frank Kinder, who serves as
Water Efficiency Program manager at Northern Water. "Northern Colorado water providers
and users face increasing demands and diverse challenges. We believe these grants can serve
as an important tool in helping local entities to be even more efficient with their resources,
while also beautifying our communities and showcasing the benefits of different landscape
approaches to the public."

The deadline for grant applications is Feb. 15, and applicants will be notified by March
15 if they are successful. Winning groups are asked to complete their landscape projects by Oct. 30.

Water efficiency stakeholders to meet in Berthoud

A meeting to learn more about regional efforts to promote water efficient policies, planning tools and funding mechanisms has been set for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Northern Water headquarters, 220 Water Ave., Berthoud.

The 2019 Winter Water Efficiency Stakeholder Meeting will bring together government and industry professionals to learn more about the options available to their organizations and offer an opportunity for those stakeholders to share their success stories.

The meeting is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP by Jan. 9.

New construction aids in measurement of Colorado River

A new river gauge will gather accurate high-flow data on the Colorado River below Granby Dam.
A project recently completed along the Colorado River in Grand County will provide local officials with better data about the river.

This fall, Northern Water contractors replaced the gauging structures below Granby Dam. Previously, the flume had a relatively small capacity of 250 cubic feet per second, and any flows greater than that, commonly in spring, were not recorded with the accuracy needed by river managers. The new structure will measure flows as high as 3,000 cfs.

Crews had to work in the river but met the challenge through the use of cofferdams and other protection strategies. Boulders from the Northern Water quarry in Grand County helped to stabilize the banks and structure.

The Colorado-Big Thompson Project is responsible for releasing water from Lake Granby every day of the year. Known as fish flow releases, they were the first of their kind below a federal dam in the United States when agreed upon in 1951

Year in Review: NISP clears major federal milestone

For the Northern Integrated Supply Project, 2018 saw the completion of a major milestone: the publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Northern Water officials began the formal permitting process to build NISP on behalf of participating communities in 2004, and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released in 2008. A Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released in 2015.

Following the release of the final report in July, members of the public and various organizations both inside and outside the public sector were offered the opportunity to comment. The deadline for submission of those comments was Oct. 4.

To read the public comments, click here and see the link "Comments Received on the NISP Final EIS."

Year in review: Design advances for Windy Gap Firming Project

Kirk Klancke of Trout Unlimited speaks earlier in 2018 at a celebration of work
on a segment of the Fraser River
in Grand County.
Participants in the Windy Gap Firming Project saw progress on both the West Slope and the East Slope in 2018, with advances occurring both in the design of the project and its associated Colorado River enhancements.

Throughout the year, engineers have been working on the final design of the Chimney Hollow Dam, an asphalt-core dam planned for the north end of the valley just west of Carter Lake.

In addition, experts have been working on conveyance options that will deliver water to the reservoir from Pinewood Reservoir and then to participants throughout Northern Colorado.

Earlier this year, officials in Grand County celebrated the efforts of the Learning By Doing group, composed of Northern Water, Denver Water, state and county leaders and others to implement enhancement measures along the Fraser River in Grand County as part of the project. A restoration effort completed this year showed significant increases in fish and insect populations through the identified stretch of river.