The Feds Bring West-Slope Water to Boulder Ditches


The Feds Bring West-Slope Water to Boulder Ditches


 The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, and the Colorado Big Thompson (C-BT) Project

By 1935, the necessary elements for a big water project were in place.

The drought provided the needed catalyst. Charles Hansen, editor of the Greeley Tribune mobilized the northern Front Range in support of the Colorado Big Thompson Project (C-BT)

5000 property owners, double the required number, petitioned to create a conservancy district. Portions of seven counties, including Boulder, joined together in 1937 to form the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, to be the local agent and to repay the Feds for the C-BT Project. They assessed a 1 mil ad valorem tax on all properties within the district.

Top and lower left: The C-BT Project gathers up to 310,000 acre-feet of water annually from the West Slope in reservoirs near Granby, and then sends it through a tunnel under Rocky Mountain National Park into a string of East Slope reservoirs and canals, where it is distributed to farmers, cities and industrial users. Newspaper clipping courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder CO.  Link to Map: http://www.ncwcd.org/images/maps/Main_C-BT.jpg

Lower right: C-BT construction began in 1938 and was completed in 1957. In 2002, 65 years after it began, NCWCD finally paid off their share of project costs. Photo courtesy of Northern Water.

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