Overview and Background

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. The Terry Ranch Project would 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. If 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 for several years and would 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 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 25,000 acre-feet of water per year.
  • The water would be held and used as a source during future droughts. Greeley would 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 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 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 remove uranium and several other contaminants every day.
  • In a 30-day pilot test, the city proved it could treat Terry Ranch water to nondetectable limits 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 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 appears unlikely.
  • As part of permitting for the Milton Seaman Reservoir enlargement, Greeley is 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 will give the green light to the Milton Seaman enlargement.
  • If the city proceeds with the Terry Ranch project, the permitting process at Milton Seaman will be suspended. 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

Adam Jokerst, Deputy Director of Water and Sewer

Aquifer Storage & Recovery_Terry Ranch

By the Numbers_Terry Ranch

Benefits_Terry Ranch