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Northeast Colorado Water Cooperative

Since 2008 LSPWCD, interested water users, and other agencies have been working on the feasibility of creating a potential new water cooperative organization in the Lower South Platte River basin which could help water users more efficiently retime, capture, lease and utilize their existing water supplies as well as potentially assist with the development of new infrastructure and water supplies.  LSPWCD applied for three grants through the Colorado Water Conservation Board to assist in the detailed feasibility analysis of organizing, operating, and implementing the new water cooperative.  One of the grants was completed in 2016 while the other two grants were completed in 2020. These grant funds provided the necessary funding for administrative, legal and engineering work to advance the water cooperative.  A new cooperative organization was incorporated in January of 2014 called the Northeast Colorado Water Cooperative (NECWC).   There are currently 22 members within the NECWC (14 representing Morgan County, 5 representing Logan County and 1 representing Sedgwick County).  In addition, LSPWCD is a member of NECWC along with Parker Water and Sanitation as a non-voting member of NECWC.

LSPWCD also applied for a WaterSMART grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBOR) to develop a Water Marketing Strategy between the NECWC and potential partnership organizations.  The WaterSMART grant was signed into contract in early 2019.  In addition, LSPWCD, NECWC, and others have worked extensively with Parker Water and Sanitation District (PWSD) on analyzing and developing a water supply and infrastructure project along with the corresponding water rights within LSPWCD service area to meet water supply needs both in the lower South Platte area and within PWSD.   These efforts led to the eventual development of the Platte Valley Water Partnership (PVWP) between LSPWCD and PWSD.  In light of this work, the USBOR approved the WaterSMART grant to also analyze LSPWCD’s involvement in potential water marketing agreements with partnering organizations.  The final report, analysis and findings of the WaterSMART Water Marketing Strategy grant was submitted to the USBOR on December 30th of 2022.  LSPWCD continues to coordinate the management, administration and operations of NECWC.  One of the current goals of NECWC members is to individually participate and engage with LSPWCD in the Platte Valley Water Partnership.  More details of the PVWP are described on the Platte Valley Water Partnership page. 

The NECWC board and members recently identified a path forward for the organization in light of expiration of grant funds and the accomplishments over the last several years:

1.       NECWC members integrate into LSPWCD operations:  Members of the NECWC are either located within LSPWCD boundaries or can petition into LSPWCD and can benefit from the PVWP project.  Many of the water supply benefits contemplated by the NECWC can be provided to members through the PVWP.

2.       The NECWC board and membership will act as an advisor to LSPWCD: The NECWC members and other lower South Platte River stakeholders recognize the collective knowledge and experience of the NECWC membership.  The NECWC will advise the LSPWCD and the members in the future about the development and operation of the PVWP for the benefit of local agricultural water users.

3.       NECWC will actively participate in regional projects.  The NECWC will continue to seek other regional partnerships that could benefit its members. The South Platte Regional Opportunities Water Group (SPROWG) is an example of a partnership that is still conceptual but will be investigated by the NECWC.

LSPWCD remains committed to coordinating with NECWC on their path forward for the organization.  All of the NECWC feasibility studies can be found in the NECWC Reports link below.

NECWC Reports