Protect the Cache La Poudre River: Stop the Glade Reservoir Project

Target: Mike Applegate, President of the Board of Directors for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District

Goal: Stop the construction of the proposed Glade Reservoir and two other dams on the already endangered Cache la Poudre River

The Cache la Poudre River in Northern Colorado has seen its fair share of dams, depletion, and alteration over the past 150 years. It has been drained dry on many occasions, and currently, over half of its natural water flow is redirected for nearby farmland and local industry use. Only about 40 percent of the water in the Cache la Poudre River is not diverted for other purposes. This relatively small amount of water is essential in providing seasonal flows, which help to boost water quality and allows the ecosystem to thrive.

However, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District has recently proposed the construction of three new dams along the remaining unaltered areas of the river. The proposal, known as the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) includes the Glad Reservoir Project, potentially the most destructive of the three proposed dams.

Estimates by the Save the Poudre Coalition claim that, during peak flow seasons, “huge pumps [at the Glade Reservoir site] would suck over 1,000 cubic feet per second from the river.” This translates to the redirection of over 70 percent of the river’s water, resulting in a decrease in “water quality, river-related recreation, and regional economic vitality.” Furthermore, for all of its potential destruction, the Glade Reservoir would “only deliver up to 40,000 acre-feet [of water] per year on average, about 10 percent of which will be wastefully evaporated every year.”

The Glade Reservoir Project would be extremely expensive as well. Not only would it initially cost an estimated 500 million dollars, but certain nearby communities would take on a share of the debt as well. The town of Eerie, for instance, would be faced with about 20,000 dollars of debt per family to fund the project. This would put a massive economic strain on the communities nearby.

Furthermore, the construction of dams has been proven time and again to cause the degradation of river ecosystems. Hundreds of species of fish, birds, mammals and native plants would face severe habitat destruction. This, in turn, could potentially lead to these species becoming increasingly endangered as their already diminished habitat shrinks even further.

Demand that the few remaining unaltered areas of the Cache la Poudre River be preserved by asking the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District to halt progress on its proposed dams, especially the Glade Reservoir Project. In this way, we can protect the river for future generations.


Dear Mike Applegate,

The Cache la Poudre River has faced immense alteration, leaving less than half of the original river in its natural, intact state. Now, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District has proposed the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), which includes the construction of Glade Reservoir.

This and the other two proposed dam projects would have severely detrimental effects of the Cache la Poudre River and its surrounding communities. Not only would the proposal be extremely costly, causing nearby towns to suffer a portion of the debt, but it would also involve the redistribution of over 70 percent of the river’s water. This would undoubtedly result in a massive loss of habitat for many species of plants and animals that thrive in this river ecosystem, as well as a decrease in water quality and recreation.

Finally, the Glade Reservoir Project would produce relatively little water each year, making the costs of this project unjustifiable.

Therefore, I respectfully urge you to halt plans for the NISP, including the massively destructive Glade Reservoir Project. Instead, we must work to preserve what is left of the Cache la Poudre River and ensure its protection for future generations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: User Wusel007 via Wikimedia Commons

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