Thornton – Northern Water Supply Project

Thornton – Northern Water Supply Project

City of Thornton, Colorado

The City of Thornton began acquiring farms and water rights in Northern Colorado in 1985 to meet future water demands. Deere & Ault Consultants, Inc. staff conducted several engineering studies to assist the City in transferring the water rights to municipal use.

Deere & Ault staff conducted historic consumptive use analyses for 103 farms acquired by the
City of Thornton, provided groundwater modeling, conducted Poudre River basin modeling, provided
raw water system planning, and provided litigation support for water rights applications as part
of Thornton’s Northern Water Supply Project.

The engineering studies included a historic consumptive use analysis and return flow analysis for irrigation water applied to each of the 103 farms acquired by the City of Thornton.

Deere & Ault staff conducted a phased study of groundwater and surface water flow regimes and interactions in the Lower Cache la Poudre River basin. The study consisted of groundwater modeling, including analysis of existing and projected water quality impacts. Deere & Ault staff installed and designed monitoring wells, conducted aquifer tests, compiled surface and subsurface geologic data, constructed isopach structure contour and potentiometric surface maps, and implemented a detailed data base management system.

Deere & Ault staff conducted a project completion study to determine the most efficient way to deliver water from the Poudre basin to Thornton. The Project Completion Study involved:

  1. determining project yields;
  2. assessing present and future water demands;
  3. determining project components;
  4. estimating project costs; and
  5. developing an augmentation plan.

Deere & Ault staff provided litigation support, including extensive expert witness testimony during the 55-day trial. A decree was awarded to Thornton that will provide an average annual raw water supply of 56,800 acre-feet.

Client:  City of Thornton, Colorado

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