Thornton’s controversial effort to maneuver hundreds of thousands of gallons of water through a 72-mile pipeline from the Cache la Poudre River west of Fort Collins to its mushrooming inhabitants in Denver’s northern suburbs was dashed Monday night time by all three of Larimer County’s commissioners, ending greater than a 12 months of debate and contentious backwards and forwards on the difficulty.

The commissioners denied a 1041 allow for the venture, citing considerations in regards to the venture’s potential impacts to property house owners in Larimer County and to the atmosphere at giant. The choice was met with applause within the listening to room Monday night time.

Commissioner Steve Johnson mentioned the pipeline proposal, which aimed to maneuver water from the Poudre River through a 48-inch diameter pipe throughout the northern fringe of Fort Collins to Interstate 25 earlier than turning south towards Thornton, ranked as one of the crucial contentious points he had ever seen raised within the county’s historical past.

He acknowledged that Thornton “bought that property (the Poudre water) legally and so they have a proper to that property,” however he mentioned town didn’t give sufficient consideration to alternate options to a pipeline.

“The 600-plus supporters of the grassroots No Pipe Dream group commend the Larimer County commissioners for his or her unanimous denial of the 1041 utility for the Thornton Water Mission,” Karen Wagner, the group’s co-chair and a former commissioner within the county, mentioned after the vote. “The board acknowledged the appreciable impacts on their constituents.”

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Wagner and different pipeline opponents had known as on Thornton to ship its Poudre River shares down the river by means of Fort Collins as a substitute of excavating miles of land for a pipe, arguing that the extra circulate would dramatically enhance the well being of a river that has dwindled to a trickle at instances.

In an announcement issued shortly after the vote was solid, Thornton Water Mission Director Mark Koleber mentioned town was disenchanted that the commissioners “selected to disregard the suggestions of their very own county workers that Thornton met all the 1041 standards for a water pipeline to be constructed within the county, doubtlessly inflicting a delay in Thornton residents’ entry to the clear water assets they personal.”

“Within the coming days and weeks, we’ll assessment the choice and decide our subsequent steps,” he mentioned.

The simmering battle over Thornton’s proposed pipeline, in some ways, echoes Colorado’s lengthy and colourful historical past of water wars which have pitted farmers in opposition to city dwellers, the western a part of the state in opposition to the booming Entrance Vary, and metropolis in opposition to metropolis.

Gary Wockner, government director of Save the Poudre — a bunch that goals to “defend and restore” the waterway that flows from Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park to the South Platte east of Greeley — mentioned Thornton had “an enormous alternative to do the best factor.”

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“The Poudre is already severely depleted and degraded by means of Fort Collins and this is a chance to assist restore the ecological well being of the river,” he mentioned.

Wagner mentioned there wanted to be extra give from Thornton on the subject of shifting its water. A pipe will negatively impression residents whereas it’s being put in and received’t convey any advantages to Larimer County within the quick or long run, she mentioned.

“The advantages accrue all to town of Thornton,” she mentioned.

Larimer County’s major duty, Wagner argued, is to implement its land use code to guard its residents. Sending Thornton’s consuming water down the Poudre wouldn’t solely assist enhance the river’s situation for the folks of Fort Collins and the animals that rely on the waterway to stay, however would nonetheless enable town north of Denver to gather each final drop it has rights to.

However shifting its water through the Poudre by means of Fort Collins to Windsor earlier than taking it out of the river would badly degrade the water’s high quality, given city and agricultural runoff and the presence of two water therapy vegetation in that city stretch, mentioned metropolis spokesman Todd Barnes.

“We would like the identical water high quality we might get the place we already divert it,” Barnes mentioned.

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