25,000 Acre Feet of C-BT Project Water Available For Lease | TheFencePost.com

25,000 Acre Feet of C-BT Project Water Available For Lease

BERTHOUD – Today an additional supply of water became available for lease by Northern Colorado farmers, municipal providers and other water users, with bids due March 16.

The Northern Water Board of Directors today allocated 25,000 acre feet of water for lease from Northern Water’s Regional Pool Program. The pool contains Colorado-Big Thompson Project water that wasn’t used the year before.

Regional Pool Program leases are only an option when C-BT storage reservoirs are relatively high, as they are now from the two previous heavy runoff years. The program makes it possible for farmers and other water users within Northern Water’s district boundaries to lease pool water, even if they do not own units of C-BT water.

Leases will be awarded based on highest bids per acre foot. Sealed bids are due by 2 p.m. March 16 at Northern Water’s headquarters, 220 Water Ave., Berthoud, CO 80513. Bid prices per acre foot must be greater than or equal to $9.50, a floor price the board set based on the 2012 assessment for C-BT agricultural contracts.

Immediately after the deadline, Northern Water will hold a public meeting to open the bids. General bid results will be posted at: http://www.northernwater.org/AllotteeInformation/RegionalPool.

To stay informed, people can check the website, sign up for updates at regionalpool@ncwcd.org or contact Northern Water’s distribution systems staff at 970-292-2500.

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In 2010 and 2011, the program leased more than 26,000 acre feet, with bid revenues totaling nearly $735,000 – money that went back to the water users whose water went into the pool.

“I’ve been talking to farmers about the season so far, and they’re saying the more water the merrier,” said Weld County Director Kenton Brunner. “With warm temperatures forecasted and soil drying out, we should put out this option for water now.”

Northern Water is a public agency created in 1937 to contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to build the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, which collects water on the West Slope and delivers it to the East Slope through a 13-mile tunnel that runs underneath Rocky Mountain National Park. Northern Water’s boundaries encompass portions of eight counties and a population of about 850,000 people. For more information, visit http://www.northernwater.org.