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Overview and Background

The Terry Ranch Water Project is an innovative water supply and storage project that will help fulfill the water needs of Greeley's growing population. The Terry Ranch Project will serve Greeley water only in times of drought; it will not replace our large surface supplies. Greeley is absolutely not selling or trading any of our water supplies in lieu of this project. This generational project will be another step forward to ensure the City of Greeley's long-term future water security.  The water will not be needed/used for several years and will help save the city millions in water acquisition costs.

Hear Mick Todd, vice chairman of the Greeley water and sewer board, discuss the Terry Ranch project:

Project Specifics

  • The Terry Ranch Project will 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 25,000 acre-feet of water per year.
  • The water will be held and used as a source during future droughts. Greeley will use this water only when its plentiful surface supplies run out. Greeley has adequate surface supplies today and does not plan to use Terry Ranch water for quite some time.
  • Terry Ranch also will help the city store water during wet years to be used in dry years. Only treated water can be stored underground. Likewise, water will be treated again before being put into the Greeley drinking water supply.
  • Terry Ranch water will be drought-proof, meaning the city will still have access to the water during times of drought when our surface supplies are at risk of running out. It also would be protected from forest fires, which is putting our high mountain water sources in peril. Unlike surface reservoirs, Terry Ranch does not lose several inches of water every year to evaporation.
  • Testing has shown that the Terry Ranch water has some low levels of naturally occurring uranium, which can easily be treated and removed. Current high mountain water also contains low levels of uranium. The city of Greeley removes uranium and several other contaminants every day.
  • In a 30-day pilot test, the city proved it could treat Terry Ranch water to non-detectable levels of uranium.
  • Terry Ranch will help the city keep water rates stable for residents. Click here to read the  Master Purchase Agreement

How it works

Water treatment process in Greeley

History and background

The City of Greeley has an extensive water system that includes two treatment plants, seven reservoirs, four river basins, and over 600 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 a high level of investment, innovative thinking and strategic planning. These principles are what have positioned Greeley to date as a regional leader in water resources.

  • 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 required a variety of federal, state, and county permits. The city had 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 appears highly unlikely. 
  • As part of permitting for the Milton Seaman Reservoir enlargement, Greeley was required by federal agencies to evaluate other, less environmentally damaging alternatives. Other alternatives were identified with fewer environmental impacts, making it unlikely that the government would give the green light to the Milton Seaman enlargement.
  • Since the Greeley City Council approved Terry Ranch in March, the city has withdrawn its request to expand Milton Seaman Reservoir. This does not mean that Greeley will abandon future opportunities to enlarge the reservoir. It will continue to be used as a key asset in Greeley's water system.

Contact Us

Terry Ranch Project

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

Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm

Ty Bereskie

Aquifer Storage & Recovery_Terry Ranch

By the Numbers_Terry Ranch

Benefits_Terry Ranch