Gardner proposes bill to create new Office of Water Storage

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) recently announced plans to introduce a bill that would establish an Office of Water Storage at the Army Corps of Engineers to serve as the central hub for permitting decisions.

Gardner led a water storage tour in Weld County on Friday and spoke with local and state officials regarding the need for increased water storage throughout Colorado.

“Water is one of the main drivers of economic growth in Colorado, and every industry in the state relies on this vital resource,” Gardner said. “The federal government has continued to stall important projects like NISP because of a permitting process in Washington, D.C. that creates bureaucratic regulatory barriers.”

NISP, the Northern Integrated Supply Project, is a $400 million project that would build a storage reservoir to supplement the water supply across northern Colorado.

The proposed bill would require the Office of Water Storage to coordinate with all agencies involved in the permitting and approval process for water storage. Environmental reviews would still have standard procedures but the office would establish a timeframe to expedite an initial decision on whether or not a project is permitted to move forward.

“I stand ready to work with any willing partners on this issue that is so important to all of Colorado and its communities,” Gardner said.