☰ Menu


What is the Thornton Water Project?

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Thornton Water Project?
The Thornton Water Project is a pipeline in Larimer and Weld Counties that will bring water purchased in the 1980s to Thornton customers.

Where can I find the Thornton Northern Water Supply Project decree?
The decree can be viewed here.

What is the Thornton Water Project timeline?
Thornton’s water customers will need this additional water supply by 2025. Project permitting and easement acquisition is currently underway; design started in mid-2018, and construction will start in mid-2019.

Will the pipeline be buried?
Yes, the pipeline will be buried with some appurtenances and access points above ground.

Will the pipeline cross my property?
The specific location of the pipeline has not been determined for the majority of the corridor. We have identified a specific alignment and location for the pipeline in portions of southern Weld County, and we are working with property owners to acquire the necessary easements for the pipeline in those locations.

Has the pipeline size been determined?
We anticipate that the pipeline diameter will be in the 42-inch range.

What permits will Thornton need?
We estimate that over 600 permits or approvals will be needed. We have initiated the land use permit processes in Weld and Larimer Counties, and have contacted the cities, towns and districts along the proposed pipeline route to understand their permitting requirements and processes. We plan to meet or exceed all permit requirements for the Project. We have consulted with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding Project construction, and will continue to do so as the Project progresses.

Why can’t Thornton just increase conservation and efficiency efforts to provide additional water?
We have one of the lowest per-person water usage rates in the state, and will continue to be a leader in water conservation, but conservation alone isn’t sufficient to meet our ongoing and future water supply needs.

Will the Thornton Water Project serve other communities?
Legally, our water rights can only be used to supply our water customers. However, we are open to partnering with other communities in northern Colorado to share infrastructure.

Why is Thornton starting now if the pipeline isn’t needed until 2025?
We want to continue to be a good community neighbor and collaborate with stakeholders early in the process. In addition, it takes many years to perform the necessary studies and designs, acquire the necessary approvals and easements, and construct a 70-mile-long pipeline.