What the Chimney Hollow Reservoir Project Means for Northern Colorado
Move over, Horsetooth — there's a new reservoir coming to town.
Northern Water, a governmental entity that provides water to 33 towns and cities in Northern Colorado, is preparing to begin construction on the Chimney Hollow Reservoir Project this summer.
Larimer County will manage the wakeless reservoir, which is a collaboration between 12 water providers across Northeastern Colorado. Upon its completion later this decade, it's expected to supply 30,000-acre feet of water per year — and new recreational opportunities for residents.
"It's going to hold water that the communities of Colorado have had the rights to but haven't been able to access until now," said Jeff Stahla, Public Information Officer at Northern Water, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "It's really going to be, I think, one of the top places to go put your stand-up paddle board or your kayak...I'm really excited for what I think could become, really, a gem for recreation in Northern Colorado."
The reservoir's 90,000 acre-feet of water will be stored via an asphalt core dam. While the dam has stirred up controversy among environmental groups, Stahla believes it will have a positive impact on Northern Colorado's ecology.
"With Chimney Hollow Reservoir, we really took a closer look at not only what impacts this project will have, but also some impacts of previous projects," he said. "...we're actually going to build a new channel for the Colorado River to go around Windy Gap Reservoir [in Grand County] and reconnect the stretches of stream above and below it and create a healthier river than we'd had in previous decades."
Due to state regulations, the reservoir likely won't make its debut until the latter half of this decade. But in the future, Coloradans will have a new place to enjoy for years to come.
Learn more about the Chimney Hollow Reservoir Project by listening to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Jeff Stahla below.
Inside Fisher's Peak, Colorado's Newest State Park