Grand River Ditch
The Grand River Ditch diverts water from the headwaters of the Colorado River along the eastern ridge of the Never Summer Mountains. Originally constructed in the late 1880's, the Grand River Ditch first delivered water to the La Poudre Pass Creek, a tributary to the Cache la Poudre River, in 1891. Additional water feeds into the Grand River Ditch from the Specimen Ditch. Today the Grand River Ditch is over 14 miles in length and when combined with water from the Specimen Ditch delivers an average of 18,000 acre-feet of water per year to the Cache la Poudre River.
The Skyline Ditch was constructed in the 1890's, and collects water from the headwaters of the Laramie River, along the eastern slopes of the Medicine Bow Mountains. When originally constructed, the Skyline Ditch was capable of delivering up to 18,000 acre-feet per year into the Cache la Poudre River and Chambers Lake. Litigation with the State of Wyoming later limited combined diversions from the Laramie River from the Skyline Ditch and Laramie-Poudre Tunnel to just over 19,875 acre-feet per year for the transmountain users from the Laramie River.
Like the Skyline Ditch, the Rawah Ditch collects water from tributaries of the Laramie River and delivers it north to the diversions structure for the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel where it is then delivered to the Cache la Poudre River. Without the Rawah Ditch, the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel would be limited to diversions of water from sources upstream of the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel.
The Laramie-Poudre Tunnel was originally constructed by the Laramie-Poudre Irrigation District around 1910. The district had plans to develop a large irrigation district north of Greeley in areas that had yet to be cultivated. When the United States Supreme Court sided with the State of Wyoming ongoing litigation over allocation of water from the Laramie River, Colorado's overall diversions from the Laramie River were greatly reduced, rendering the overall project financially infeasible. The Water Supply and Storage Company together with the Windsor Reservoir and Canal Company purchased the assets of the then defunct Laramie Poudre Irrigation District, including title to the Laramie-Poudre Irrigation District. The two companies then formed the Tunnel Water Company for ongoing management of the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel and related facilities.
Today, the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel delivers almost 16,000 acre-feet per year to the shareholders of the Tunnel Water Company, of which the Water Supply and Storage Company owns 2/3rds. Water from the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel can be exchanged into Chambers Lake for storage or delivered directly to the Larimer County Canal.
Chambers Lake is located on Joe Wright Creek, a tributary to the Cache la Poudre River. Originally constructed in the late 1880's, the dam was later raised to create a total capacity of 11,350 acre-feet. The reservoir stores water native to the Cache la Poudre River, as well as transmountain diversions from the Skyline Ditch and Laramie-Poudre Tunnel. The reservoir is also managed cooperatively with the City of Fort Collins and the City of Greeley through various trades and exchanges.
Larimer County canal
The Larimer County Canal is the main distribution canal for the Water Supply and Storage Company. It was originally constructed in the 1870's by the Larimer County Ditch Company, which was later purchased and enlarged by the Water Supply and Storage Company. The canal has a capacity of over 400 cfs, runs roughly 58 miles through Larimer and Weld counties, and serves roughly 50,000 acres of land.
One of the oldest ditches in the State of Colorado. Antoine Janis constructed the upper part of the ditch in 1861, before the Dry Creek Ditch Company contracted for its use. Later, the Jackson Ditch Company was formed and took over operations and extended the ditch past Dry Creek. Today the site is the historic home to Ralph Parshall's research station dating to 1919.