One of Fort Collins most distinctive features is the massive Horsetooth Reservoir which lies just west of the city. While most residents of Fort Collins know Horsetooth for its natural beauty and the countless recreational opportunities it provides, the reservoir’s main function is as a supplementary source of water for Fort Collins and surrounding communities. Since water is an increasingly important resource in Colorado, a second reservoir has been in the planning stage for over a decade. This reservoir, which would be located just north of town, is to be called Glade Reservoir.
Glade Reservoir is actually part of a larger project headed by the US. Army Corps of Engineers and an independent organization known as Northern Water. The Northern Integrated Supply Project includes Glade Reservoir and a smaller counterpart called Galeton Reservoir to be located northeast of Greeley. Together the two planned reservoirs would hold over 210,000 acre feet of water with Glade holding 170,000 and Galeton much smaller at about 40,000 acre feet (Horsetooth Reservoir has a capacity of about 155,000 acre feet).
The construction of Glade Reservoir would involve the building of several dams and the submerging of several square miles of land north of Fort Collins and west of US Highway 287 (part of which would be relocated to accommodate the new water body).
The biggest question these days is when the reservoir will be completed. Delays in the planning and development stages of the project have pushed its timeline out to 2016 for the beginning of construction and a tentative date for filling and completion in 2019. This is largely due to delays caused by an additional environmental impact study that was ordered by the Corps of Engineers and due out in 2014 but then later delayed until 2015.
Glade Reservoir will provide not only a new store of water for the area but also a totally remade landscape north of town that comes with the unique possibility of owning property that overlooks the new reservoir.