CCWCD Water Resources

To successfully operate two Augmentation Plans, Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, the Groundwater Management Subdistrict (GMS) and the Well Augmentation Subdistrict (WAS) must have multiple types of water sources. The complexities of running an augmentation plan call for surface water rights, water storage facilities and recharge sites.

Central’s first major project began in 1968 with involvement in the proposed Narrows Reservoir, to be located east of Greeley. This large reservoir was never completed due to environmental concerns and opposition from residents of the Weldon Valley due to the extreme size and location of the reservoir. Undaunted, Central continued to envision new water projects and acquire water rights whenever possible.


Lined Storage is critical.
slurry-wall-storage-vessel-graphicWater storage in reservoirs is an essential component to operating an augmentation plan along the South Platte River. During times of free river, or when our surface rights are in priority, we can fill reservoirs, then during times of high need, release the water back to the river.  To that end, Central has constructed numerous reservoirs and gravel pit storage ponds, from as far west as Windsor, east to Fort Morgan, and south as far as Brighton. Of particular pride is Central’s Siebring Reservoir. The former gravel pit is now the world’s first slurry wall lined storage reservoir.

Constructed in partnership with Hall Irwin Construction, the unique lining made from bentonite clay allows for below grade storage with minimal groundwater interaction. This same technology is now being used around the world. Other gravel pit lined storage ponds owned by Central include La Poudre, Koenig, Nissen, JoDee, Bernhardt and 83rd Avenue Reservoirs. One of the largest projects still being mined is the Shores Reservoir, which will consist of 4 interconnected ponds.


Surface Rights provide water to fill reservoirs.

W.R. Jones Ditch Map

W.R. Jones Ditch Map

Central began aggressively purchasing senior water rights, some with priority dates from the 1860’s, shortly after the formation of GMS in 1973. This water is used to fill reservoirs and recharge ponds, covering depletion’s to the South Platte River caused by well pumping.  Over the course of the next 30 years the District and two Subdistricts have assembled a water portfolio that contains rights in twenty-eight different ditch and reservoir companies. The diversification allows for greater flexibility in providing replacement to senior water rights holders.



Recharge and its’ revisions.
Recharge ponds are shallow depressions excavated from the land at strategic and geologically significant places. The pond allows water diverted into it to infiltrate into the underlying aquifer and slowly migrate back to the South Platte River. This process of delaying or timing replacements is critical to the augmentation plans.

The Box Elder Recharge project was decreed by Central in 1982, while the Kiowa Recharge facility and Milliron were constructed in 1981 and 1982, respectively. These first recharge sites were very large projects. The Orchard Retiming Project was constructed in 2008 near the Kiowa and Milliron projects. It’s water diversions are provided by headgate wells and the ability to fill by surface diversions.

Construction at the Nissen Site

Construction at Nissen Reservoir

Since 2007, thirty smaller recharge ponds have been constructed constructed along the South Platte River. These smaller ponds have been built in partnership with landowners, where expenses and water credits are negotiated in contracts with Central.

Central has also constructed innovative “hybrid” projects, such as Nissen Reservoir. This project consists of unlined infiltration ponds, which recharge an area within a slurry wall liner, serving the best of both worlds.

Be it through tried and true methods, or new and innovative technology, CCWCD is looking to the future in anticipation of increasing demands for water, and working to meet member’s needs.


Lined Gravel Pit Water Storage Reservoirs

Bernhardt ReservoirLa Poudre Reservoir
Jo Dee ReservoirNissen Reservoir
Koenig ReservoirSiebring Reservoir
83rd Avenue ReservoirShores Reservoir
Geisert Reservoir
Surface and Reservoir Rights Owned by the Three Districts
BH Eaton DitchBeeline DitchBig Thompson/Platte River
Boulder & Weld Reservoir CoBox Elder DitchBox Elder Irrigation
Brighton DitchFarmers Independent DitchFulton Irrigation Ditch
Godding DitchGodfrey Bottom DitchGreeley Irrigation Company
Greeley & Loveland DitchLake Canal CompanyLoveland & Greeley Reservoir
Lupton Bottoms DitchLupton Meadows DitchNew Cache La Poudre Ditch
North Poudre Irrigation Co.Platteville Irrigating & MillingPlumb Irrigation CO
Rural DitchSeven Lakes ReservoirUnion Reservoir
Chatfield Reservoir
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