Thornton plots new route in Larimer County for Poudre River water line
Thornton, Colorado Faces Opposition for New Water Pipeline Project
In a bid to secure a new water pipeline route, the city of Thornton, Colorado is facing renewed resistance from opponents who argue the project could have negative impacts on local landowners and the health of the Cache La Poudre River. The city’s latest application for a water pipe permit with Larimer County has reignited a years-long battle over the proposed 42-inch-wide pipe, which would run across the county.
Despite the opposition, Thornton officials remain hopeful that the new pipe alignment will gain approval from the county’s commissioners. If approved, the pipeline would play a crucial role in the city’s long-term growth plans, allowing it to access water it purchased the rights for decades ago.
The $500 million, 70-mile water pipe project, which has already received support from Adams and Weld counties, is a crucial component of Thornton’s efforts to secure its future water supply. The proposed new pipeline alignment through Larimer County is said to offer several advantages over the previous route that was rejected in 2019, including a shorter distance and the avoidance of certain neighborhoods.
However, opponents of the project, including groups such as Save the Poudre and No Pipe Dream, argue that the water should be left in the Poudre River rather than being diverted to the reservoirs northwest of Fort Collins.
The historic significance of the Cache La Poudre River as a vital water source and natural resource cannot be overlooked. The river has long been a key feature in the region’s ecosystem and history, and its protection has been a subject of ongoing debate and conservation efforts.
In the face of opposition, Thornton maintains that it has explored all reasonable alternatives and that the proposed pipeline route is essential for securing high-quality drinking water for residents. The city also argues that leaving its water in the Poudre River would be counterproductive given the demands for water in the coming decades.
The outcome of the impending vote by Larimer County’s commissioners will have significant implications not only for Thornton’s water supply but also for the city’s long-term growth plans and potential contributions to addressing the affordable housing crisis in the metro Denver area.
As the city of Thornton continues to face opposition to its water pipeline project, the debate surrounding the project’s potential impacts on the Cache La Poudre River and surrounding communities remains ongoing. Despite the differing perspectives, the city’s efforts to secure a reliable water supply are intricately tied to the region’s environmental and developmental future.