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Windy Gap Firming Project
   Facts:                                                          The Windy Gap Firming Project is an effort by 14 entities to
                                                                   improve the reliability of, or "to firm", the water supplies
                                                                   developed by the original Windy Gap project.
                                                                   • In wetter years, the Colorado-Big Thompson system is
What is Windy Gap Firming?                                         sometimes full and does not have excess capacity to carry or
                                                                   store Windy Gap water. During the period 1995-2000, there

T
        he original Windy Gap project was built in 1985 by the     was water available to Windy Gap, but the project did not
        Municipal Subdistrict of the Northern Colorado Water       divert because Lake Granby was full of C-BT water;
        Conservancy District on behalf of five northern
Colorado cities and Platte River Power Authority. The project      • In other years when Windy Gap water is stored in Lake
diverts water from below the confluence of the Colorado and        Granby and the reservoir is full, Windy Gap Project water
Fraser Rivers and delivers it through Colorado-Big Thompson        must be released from the reservoir to make room for
Project facilities to Windy Gap owners in northeastern             Colorado-Big Thompson Project water as it flows into the
Colorado.                                                          reservoir during the runoff season. In both 1995 and 1996,
  The project was originally anticipated to provide an annual      Windy Gap water was released from Granby for these reasons.
average of 48,000 acre-feet of water to the Windy Gap owners.
However, the expected yield has not been realized due to sev-       The Windy Gap Firming Project is an effort by 14 entities to
eral factors:                                                     improve the reliability of, or "to firm", the water supplies
                                                                  developed by the original Windy Gap project. This will allow
  • Upstream and downstream senior water rights on the            the Participants to satisfy water demands during both wet and
  Colorado River must be satisfied before the Windy Gap           dry years.
  Project can divert water. This limits the amount of water
  Windy Gap can divert during drier years in the upper           The Firming Project participants are Broomfield, Erie, Greeley, Longmont,
  Colorado River Basin. For example, in 2002, Windy Gap          Louisville, Loveland, Superior, Evans, Little Thompson Water District,
  was unable to divert;                                          Lafayette, Fort Lupton, Central Weld County Water District, Platte River
                                                                 Power Authority and Middle Park Water Conservancy District.



Initial Steps: The Alternative Plan Formulation Report
   In 2003, the Municipal Subdistrict       reservoirs and non-structural options          best potential of successfully achieving
completed the Windy Gap Firming             such as coordinated operation with the         the project's goals. The study team eval-
Project Alternative Plan Formulation        C-BT Project.                                  uated the 18 plans based upon environ-
Report. The study's purpose was to             The study team initially identified 170     mental impacts, economics, permit
assess the range of reasonable alterna-     elements that could, alone or in combi-        requirements, and operational consider-
tives for firming the Windy Gap water       nation, firm the Windy Gap supply.             ations. From that analysis, seven plans
supply. Alternative plans included struc-   They then used a two-phase screening           were selected for more detailed study
tural options such as new or enlarged       process to identify 18 plans that had the      and modeling.


                                                                                                The 7 Alternative Plans

                                                                                                 Chimney Hollow (110,000 af)

                                                                                                 Chimney Hollow (84,000 af)
                                                                                                 & Jasper North (36,500 af)

                                                                                                 Chimney Hollow (110,000 af)
                                                                                                 & Rawhide North (13,000 af)

                                                                                                 Chimney Hollow (44,500 af)
                                                                                                 & Jasper North (36,000 af)

                                                                                                 Cactus Hill (110,000 af)


                                                                                                 Little Thompson (110,000 af)

                                                                                                 Jasper North (79,000 af)
                                                                                                 & Jasper North (36,000 af)
           Windy Gap Firming Project
                                                                                                                                    www.ncwcd.org




                                                                                                                               Colorado River water
                                                                                                                               flowing over the
                                                                                                                               Windy Gap spillway




Next steps: the NEPA process
    ach of the seven alternative plans would require a physical than 250 people and five agencies attended the meetings and
E   connection of Windy Gap Firming Project facilities to C- submitted 161 written comments on over 900 separate issues.
BT Project facilities. This                                                                                                        During the next year,
connection requires per-                                                                                                         Reclamation and the
                                                                   The EIS Process
mission from the United                                                                                                          Municipal Subdistrict
States     Bureau         of                         Begin EIS           Hold Agency &                 Solicit Public &          will refine the project
Reclamation and compli-                               Process             Public Scoping             Agency Concerns             purpose and need,
ance with the National                              June 2003               Fall 2003                                            assess the environ-
Environmental Policy Act                                                                                                         mental impacts of the
(NEPA) by conducting an                                                                                                          alternatives, and docu-
                                 Identify Alternatives          Conduct              Prepare Draft EIS           Issue Draft EIS
environmental review of                                       Environmental                                                      ment the process in
                                     to be Studied               Studies             Based on Studies              for Review
the alternatives that cul-                                                                                                       the EIS report. The
minates in the creation of          Early 2005               Summer 2004                Winter 2004              Spring 2005     draft EIS is scheduled
                                                           to Summer 2005              to Spring 2005
an Environmental Impact                                                                                                          to be distributed in
Statement (EIS) report.                                                  Periodic Updates                                        Summer 2005. At that
The Municipal Subdistrict                                                   to the Public                                        time, Reclamation will
and Reclamation began                                                                                                            hold a second set of
the NEPA process in                                                      Public Comment                                          meetings to take pub-
Spring 2003.                                                                    Period                                           lic comment on the
   One of the first steps in                                                                                                     document. The figure
NEPA's environmental               Prepare Final EIS                                                                             at left shows the steps
                                                              Publish Final             Public Comment          Prepare Record
review process is to deter-         in Response to                 EIS                                                           involved in writing the
                                                                                             Period                of Decision
                                   Public Comments
mine the scope of the                                                                                                            Windy Gap Firming
                                   Summer 2005                 Fall 2005                                            Late 2005
Environmental Impact                                                                                                             Project EIS and the
Statement report.        To                                                                                                      associated schedule.
accomplish this, Reclamation and the Municipal Subdistrict More information on the NEPA process is available at the
held three public meetings and one agency meeting to obtain Council on Environmental Quality's website:
comments on what information the EIS should include. More http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/nepanet.htm




For more information....
Call the following NCWCD staff for questions regarding                      For questions specific to the NEPA process, contact the
the project:                                                                following U.S. Bureau of Reclamation staff:

          Jeff Drager, Project Manager                                                Kara Lamb, Public Involvement Specialist
          (970) 622-2333                                                              (970) 962-4326
          jdrager@ncwcd.org                                                           klamb@gp.ubsr.gov

          Nicole Seltzer, Public Liaison                                    The Windy Gap Firming Project website:
          (970) 622-2277
          nseltzer@ncwcd.org                                                          www.ncwcd.org

				
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posted:11/11/2011
language:English
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