Skip to main content


Exploring Options#

map of Halligan, Fort Collins and the alternatives

Click to enlarge

As part of the permitting process, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) evaluates numerous alternatives to City's preferred alternative – the Halligan Reservoir enlargement. Other water supply alternatives studied to date require:

  • Piping and pump stations
  • Greater greenhouse gas emission due to ongoing pumping requirements
  • Some level of pre-treatment required before water can be treated at our water treatment facility
  • A higher cost per acre-foot of water

Several alternatives are evaluated in the Halligan Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including:

  • Enlargement of the proposed Glade Reservoir (if constructed as part of the Northern Integrated Supply Project)
  • Acquisition of dedicated storage in existing agricultural reservoirs near Wellington
  • Use of existing and expanded gravel pit reservoirs along the Poudre River near Overland Trail
Alternative Feature Halligan Water Supply Project
(Fort Collins Utilities' Proposed Action) 
Expanded Glade Reservoir Alternative Gravel Pits Alternative Agricultural Reservoirs Alternative No-Action Alternative
Pumping None
  • Filling operations (2.850 horse power)
  • Pumping of releases to water treatment facility (540 horse power)
  • Filling from canal (45 horse power)
  • Gravel pit operations (133 horse power)
  • Releases to the river and pretreatment plant (483 horse power)
  • Releases to the water treatment facility from pretreatment facility (1,290 horse power)
  • Releases to the water treatment facility from the pretreatment facility (1,100 horse power)
Average Annual Power Required  0 kWh/yr* 837,680 kWh/year* 735,210 kWh/yr* 526,250 kWh/yr* 0 kWh/yr*
Permanent Impacts  160.0 acres 69.0 acres 17.0 acres 11.0 acres  0 acres
Temporary Impacts 31.5 acres 69.5 acres 111.5 acres 373.0 acres  0 acres 
*Includes pumping and treatment operations


If We Do Nothing#

Our region's semi-arid climate means the amount of water available from month-to-month and year-to-year varies, especially during dry years and drought. Without additional storage, future Fort Collins Utilities customers are vulnerable to reductions in water supply during prolonged drought or emergencies. As a result, more frequent and severe water restrictions would be likely. Fort Collins Utilities currently owns far less independent storage per customer than many other Front Range water providers.


Forest fire is just one problem that arises in times of drought. While not all are as dramatic as the 2012 High Park Fire and 2020 Cameron Peak Fire, they can have lasting impacts and effects on our region and economy. Photo courtesy of Jim Lynxwiler, Poudre Fire Authority.

Infrastructure failures can occur during a natural disaster such as a flood. Many of our neighboring communities in Northern Colorado experienced significant impacts to infrastructure during the 2013 flood. The photo above is near Lee Martinez Park.