Oil wells may force Galeton Reservoir relocation — the Fort Collins Coloradoan

Map of the Northern Integrated Supply Project via Northern Water
Map of the Northern Integrated Supply Project via Northern Water

From the Fort Collins Coloradan (Jacy Marmaduke):

Northern Water might change the location of a proposed reservoir northeast of Greeley because the site is home to about 24 active oil and gas wells, spokesman Brian Werner said Monday.

The wells, operated by Noble Energy, could lead to water contamination risk if left uncapped.

The reservoir in question, Galeton Reservoir, is the smaller storage component of the…Northern Integrated Supply Project

Northern Water picked the spot for Galeton Reservoir before Noble built wells there, Werner said. The agency couldn’t do anything to stop the wells from being built because it didn’t own the land.

“We just hadn’t gotten that far yet,” Werner said.

The wells were drilled within the last decade. If Northern Water wanted to keep the reservoir location, the wells would have to be capped before construction, which could be costly.

That’s why Northern Water is now leaning toward a different location across Colorado Highway 14 to the north. The location doesn’t contain any wells but still needs to be vetted, Werner said. He added the move wouldn’t be much more expensive than first plan because the new spot is nearby the original proposal…

The decision to move the proposed reservoir site is up to project participants, Werner said, but he added the move “probably” won’t happen if it would mean a significant cost increase or extension of the project’s timeline. He couldn’t provide an estimate of when participants will decide what to do…

About Galeton Reservoir

  • Galeton Reservoir would take water from the South Platte River, while Glade Reservoir would take water from the Poudre River. The Poudre flows to join the South Platte near Greeley.
  • Galeton Reservoir could hold up to 45,600 acre-feet of water, roughly one-fourth of Glade Reservoir’s projected capacity of 170,000 acre-feet.
  • For reference, one acre-foot is enough water to meet the needs of two to three households a year, and Horsetooth Reservoir holds 157,000 acre feet.
  • The current proposed location for Galeton Reservoir is just east of Ault on the southeast side of Colorado Highway 14.
Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) map July 27, 2016 via Northern Water.
Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) map July 27, 2016 via Northern Water.

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