C-BT water quota increased to 70 percent
BERTHOUD, Colo. – Above average regional water storage coupled with above average snowpack prompted the Northern Water Board of Directors to increase its 2019 quota allocation for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to 70 percent.
The board unanimously approved the allocation at its meeting Thursday at Northern Water’s Berthoud headquarters.
Luke Shawcross, manager of the Water Resources Department at Northern Water, outlined snowpack and forecasted streamflows and discussed the impact of this week’s storm on water supplies.
“On a district-wide basis we are generally out of drought conditions and streamflow forecasts indicate average to above average flows,” said Shawcross. “This week’s storm certainly helps our outlook.”
When setting the quota the board considers current regional reservoir storage levels, forecasted snowpack runoff, availability of water within the C-BT system and public input.
At Northern Water’s Spring Water Users meeting held Tuesday the largest number of water users in attendance preferred a C-BT quota of 70 percent.
“We need to focus on what our allottees need. It’s pretty clear the water is available,” said Larimer County board member Bill Emslie.
The board has been setting C-BT quota since 1957 and a 70 percent quota is the most common annual allocation during that period.
“It’s an average year and a 70 percent quota is justified,” said Board President Mike Applegate.
The quota increases available C-BT Project water supplies by 62,000 acre-feet from the initial 50 percent quota made available in November.
Water from the C-BT Project supplements other sources for 33 cities and towns, 120 agricultural irrigation companies, various industries and other water users within Northern Water’s 1.6 million-acre service area. According to recent census figures, approximately 980,000 residents now live inside Northern Water’s boundaries.
To learn more about Northern Water and the C-BT quota, visit http://www.northernwater.org.