Terry Ranch Project

 

Terry Ranch ProjectGreeley has a long history of investing in its water future. The foresight and diligence of past city leaders and water pioneers ensured Greeley continuously seeks opportunities to plan for, and secure, Greeley's water needs. Terry Ranch is the next frontier.

Community Support

The Terry Ranch Project could soon become the water source of Greeley's future. Below, find a list of community supporters of this vital water project. Their comments are theirs, and theirs alone. They have agreed to allow their support to be displayed on this page.

Greeley’s Water Future

Greeley’s Water and Sewer leadership team will lead a public webinar at 6 p.m., Feb. 10 to present Terry Ranch and its particulars.  The webinar will be recorded. The February webinar will contain results of myriad water testing conducted at Terry Ranch over the last few months. To access the upcoming webinar, follow this link 

https://greeleygov.zoom.us/j/85780121381

You must enter this passcode to get in:

Passcode: 273222

Or iPhone one-tap :

    US: +13017158592,,85780121381#  or +13126266799,,85780121381#

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

        US: +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 929 205 6099  or +1 253 215 8782

Webinar ID: 857 8012 1381

    International numbers available: https://greeleygov.zoom.us/u/kc1Ni2rfSl

 

Meanwhile, check out the conversation in the video below that city leaders had with roughly 60 residents on Dec. 2, 2020. They presented the parameters of the project as a more affordable and environmentally sound option to existing reservoir expansion plans, and they answered numerous community questions. 

 

Project Overview

How it works

The proposed Terry Ranch Water Project is an innovative water supply and storage project being considered and evaluated to help fulfill the water needs of Greeley's growing population. If ultimately determined feasible and approved by the City of Greeley Water Board and City Council, this generational project will be another step forward to ensure the City of Greeley's long-term future water security.  The water wouldn't be needed/used until at least the year 2045 and would help save the city millions in water acquisition costs.

Project Specifics

  • TR Map_v8The Terry Ranch Project would develop approximately 1.2 million acre-feet of non-tributary groundwater from an underground aquifer located in northwest Weld County. Today, the city of Greeley uses 25 acre-feet of water per year.
  • The water would be held and used as a source during future drought. Greeley would not even need to use the water until the year 2045.
  • Terry Ranch would also help the city store water during wet years to be used in dry years. Only treated water can be stored underground. Likewise, water would be treated again before being put into the Greeley drinking water supply.
  • Terry Ranch water will be drought proof, meaning the city would not lose several acre-feet a year to evaporation. It also would be protected from forest fires, which put high mountain water sources in peril every summer.
  • Testing has shown that the Terry Ranch water has some low-levels of naturally occurring uranium, which can easily be treated and removed. The city of Greeley does this every day with existing water sources.
  • In a pilot test, the city proved it could treat Terry Ranch water to nondetectable limits of uranium. Click here to read the results of the testing and pilot study
  • Terry Ranch will help the city keep water rates stable for residents. Click here to read the Master Purchase Agreement

History and Background

The City of Greeley has an extensive water system that includes two treatment plants, seven reservoirs, four river basins, and over five hundred miles of pipeline. These systems make up Greeley's reliable water supply.

Today, ensuring a reliable water supply in the face of anticipated population growth and the consequences of a variable climate requires the high level of investment in innovative thinking and strategic planning that has positioned Greeley to date. 

The Terry Ranch aquifer was identified as a more environmentally friendly water storage option during the city's long-term strategic efforts to enlarge Milton Seaman Reservoir.

As part of permitting for the Milton Seaman Reservoir enlargement, Greeley is required by federal agencies to evaluate other, less environmentally damaging alternatives. It was during this continuous evaluation process that Terry Ranch was identified as an alternative solution. 

Since 2003, the city sought to enlarge the existing Milton Seaman Reservoir. Enlarging this reservoir on the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River requires a variety of federal, state, and county permits. The city has been engaged in the federal National Environmental Policy Act permitting process to allow the reservoir's expansion since 2006. Federal permitting has been a long, arduous, and expensive process, and final authorization is uncertain at best.

What's Next? 

Before finalizing the purchase, Greeley conducted  extensive testing and analysis, including drilling additional wells and collecting extensive water quality data. Critical analysis will be peer-reviewed, and the results of these studies will be available in early 2021.  The Water and Sewer Board and Greeley City Council, with input from Greeley residents, will weigh results to decide whether to move forward with the purchase. 
Water System

Wingfoot Purchase Agreement

Greeley does not currently own this groundwater or the associated aquifer storage and has developed an agreement to acquire ownership of the water and storage rights from the owners, Wingfoot Water Resources (Wingfoot).

The city is using an innovative, low-risk purchase arrangement to acquire this water and storage. Rather than paying money upfront, the city is issuing the seller, Wingfoot, water supply credits. 

Each credit will be worth one acre-foot of water supply redeemable to meet the city's raw water dedication requirements – payments in the form of water or cash required of developers or builders to construct in the city. The water supply credits are only redeemable within the City of Greeley. Wingfoot will benefit by being able to sell credits to developers and builders. 

Greeley benefits by not having to pay for the project all at once. This arrangement shares financial risks between the City of Greeley and Wingfoot, which results in lower water rates for Greeley water customers.   

Wingfoot will not own or operate the Terry Ranch Project. In addition to providing Greeley full control of the groundwater and groundwater storage rights, Wingfoot will provide $125 million toward construction of the project infrastructure.

Research to date shows the Terry Ranch Project to be a promising opportunity for a high-quality water source and with fewer environmental impacts, less permitting risks, and an overall lower cost than the Milton Seaman expansion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

WS | Terry Ranch FAQs

What is the Terry Ranch Project?
How is the Terry Ranch Project different from the Milton Seaman Reservoir enlargement project?
Why else is the Terry Ranch Project better than the Milton Seaman Reservoir enlargement?
Has Greeley already purchased the Terry Ranch water?
What about the resources already put into the Milton Seaman Reservoir project?
Is the water safe? What do you mean by diligence?
Who is Wingfoot?
Will Wingfoot control Greeley’s water supply?
How will Greeley pay for the groundwater and underground storage?
Is Terry Ranch groundwater similar to groundwater already used in and around Greeley?
What about uranium? Will the water be safe to drink?
How can we know for sure uranium has been removed?
How expensive will it be to treat Terry Ranch water?
How will Terry Ranch groundwater taste?
Is this project being built just to help Thornton get their water?
Would Fort Collins or Loveland use Terry Ranch water?
Does Greeley risk losing water rights associated with the Milton Seaman Reservoir enlargement?
Is the availability of groundwater at Terry Ranch affected by droughts or fires?
Is there a potential for biosolids disposed at Fort Collins’s Meadow Springs Ranch to contaminate the Terry Ranch groundwater?
Is Greeley buying the right to store water underground?
How will Greeley be able to store water underground if the aquifer is already full of water?

Contact Us

Terry Ranch Project

1001 11th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Greeley, CO 80631

Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm

Adam Jokerst, Deputy Director of Water and Sewer
970-350–9209
Adam.Jokerst@greeleygov.com

Innovative Water Project_Terry Ranch Aquifer
Innovative Water Project_Terry Ranch Aquifer
Innovative Water Project_Terry Ranch Aquifer
Timeline of Events for Terry Ranch project Innovative Water Project_Terry Ranch Aquifer