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A Better Future for the Poudre River



Key Terms

  • Acre-foot (AF)Volume of water equal to 325,851 gallons. It is approximately the volume used by two to four families in a year. An acre-foot is enough water to cover an acre, one foot deep.
  • Active conservation Water demand reductions that result from conservation programs and measures implemented by water utilities and their customers. Active conservation can be voluntary or mandatory through regulations. Examples of active conservation include leak detection programs, tiered water rate structures that increase with higher use, improved irrigation management, switching to more water efficient landscaping, and toilet rebates.
  • Cfs Cubic feet per second
  • Consumptive use The portion of water that is used in a process that does not return to the adjacent hydrologic system. For example, water that evaporates or is transpired by plants during agricultural use, or water that is used up or evaporates in an industrial process.
  • GPCD gallons per capita per day
  • Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Northern Water)A public agency created in 1937, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and its municipal subdistrict (both identified in this report as "Northern Water") serve a large portion of northeastern Colorado, providing water to irrigators, cities, towns, rural-domestic water districts, and industries from the CBT and Windy Gap projects.
  • NISP The Northern Integrated Supply Project
  • Passive conservation Water demand reductions that are associated with the impacts of improved technology and state and federal policy measures that result in lower flow standards for fixtures and appliances. Passive conservation savings are realized as more efficient new homes are built or fixtures and appliances are replaced over time in older homes.



"I applaud the advanced thinking that has gone into the Better Future Alternative. This report identifies innovative, workable, and viable water policy solutions that Colorado legislators and policy makers are welladvised to consider today as we work to plan our water future."

- Randy Fischer, State Representative, Colorado House District 53

Everything You Need to Know


A Better Future for the Poudre River Alternative is a solution for meeting future water demands in northeastern Colorado. This report outlines a better approach than the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), a proposal by Northern Water that would cause significant harm to the Poudre River. A Better Future provides a strategy for meeting the water needs of 15 towns and water districts while also preserving the Poudre River and the communities and businesses that depend on a healthy river.

Click to download the full report