Water abundant in northern Colorado reservoirs after wet spring and summer, 2013 flood

Associated Press

Northern Colorado cities, farmers and industries have plenty of water stored up this fall, water district officials said.

The Colorado-Big Thompson Project has the highest storage levels on record, the Greeley Tribune reported Thursday (http://tinyurl.com/nvhxk9m ).

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Colorado-Big Thompson supplies water to Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Lafayette, Longmont and Louisville. It also supplies northeastern Colorado farmers and smaller communities.

The project has 12 reservoirs including Granby, Carter and Horsetooth. Water levels in those three reservoirs are about twice as high as they were in 2012, a drought year.

"Anytime you're at those kinds of numbers, you're feeling pretty good about next year," said Brian Werner, communications director for Northern Water, which manages the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.

Reservoir levels began to climb after the 2013 flood and were helped by a wet spring and summer, said Andy Pineda, manager of water resources for the agency.

"From what we've got in the system right now, we have a comfortable two-year supply," he said.

Abundant water in rivers and streams means farmers will not have to draw as much from wells, which will allow them to recharge, Pineda said.

The South Platte River, which drains much of Northern Water's territory, has few restrictions at the moment, said Dave Nettles, a Northern Water engineer.

"We are under a free river in basically the whole basin right now. If you want water in the South Platte Basin right now, you can take it. We have plenty of water," he said.

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Information from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co, http://greeleytribune.com