Water and Sewer Director Sean Chambers
Greeley will move forward securing water for future generations through the Terry Ranch Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project. A referendum petition seeking to overturn City Council’s March 2nd unanimous decision to close on the project failed to secure enough signatures Thursday. The city of Greeley will move forward to close on the purchase of Terry Ranch, and its 1.2 million acre-feet of water and storage which will supplement Greeley’s existing robust portfolio.
“This is one the most monumental decisions we’ve made in Greeley. Terry Ranch will go down as a historic purchase and decision as Colorado communities are confronted with how they service growth that is expected to come their way. With the Terry Ranch water, Greeley leaders, like our early pioneers, have leapt into the future to ensure our community will prosper and grow for generations,” said Greeley Mayor John Gates.
Those wishing to overturn the Council’s decision needed approximately 2,200 signatures to force a special election on the matter, an election which would have cost up to $200,000.
Greeley has been blessed to be a leader in the provision of water to Greeley and beyond. The Terry Ranch Project continues this proud tradition of one generation creating a water supply for the next. I am so very proud of the Water Staff in charting the course for the future. The residents are fortunate to have a dedicated and professional water staff,” said City Manager Roy Otto. “This project had opposition, and I want to thank them for expressing their concerns. I am confident in the analysis of our staff and hired consultants that addressed these concerns. Terry Ranch is a safe and reliable water storage and supply. I also want to thank the staff of the City Clerk’s office who professionally handled their duties to shepherd the opponents through the referendum process. The process of democracy has been upheld.”
Terry Ranch groundwater supply and storage will meet the city’s future water needs for more than 260,000 people, a figure the state demographer has predicted by the year 2065.
“With the approval and acquisition of Terry Ranch, the city is taking an important step forward in securing the scarce water resources needed for drought response, sustainable growth and maximizing our systems reliability. While there is more work to be done, we are pleased that Council’s direction on the project will stand.” Sean Chambers, director Greeley Water and Sewer.
The Terry Ranch aquifer is an isolated pocket of water available for supplemental use, which the city will use during future droughts. In drought years, the city will draw on the water when existing supplies are tight. That will give ample water to residents and industry alike. Terry Ranch will also store water underground, which while common throughout the U.S., is unique for Greeley. In wet years, when water is in strong supply, the city could store water into the aquifer for future use. All water that is drawn from the aquifer will be treated to the city’s existing high standards, and the city has a peer-reviewed, state approved, water treatment plan to ensure that any water from Terry Ranch is treated and safe before it is delivered to Greeley.
The city’s next steps will be to complete the purchase and refine its infrastructure design and phased implementation plan of Terry Ranch.