North Poudre Irrigation Company

Company Overview
NPIC ditch in summer

NPIC ditch in summer

North Poudre Irrigation Company is a mutual ditch company that operates to deliver water to stockholders. All infrastructure is owned by the stockholders and is operated and maintained on their behalf by company personnel.

In 2015, about 600 stockholders own 10,000 shares of stock. Municipal water entities own 75% of NPIC shares. The remaining 25% are owned by agricultural users.


Our reservoir and delivery system extends from Halligan Reservoir (north and west of Livermore) and the Munroe Diversion (on the mainstem of the Cache la Poudre River), east to agricultural areas north and west of Wellington, and south and east of Wellington to Colorado Highway 14.

Fossil Creek Reservoir, an on-stream reservoir south of the NPIC system, is located east of Trilby Road in south Fort Collins.

See the North Poudre Irrigation System map gazetteer.


NPIC owns decreed water rights that (on average) produce between 4-6 acre-feet per share during the irrigation season. Additionally, NPIC holds 40,000 units of Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT) water that is primarily used for exchange purposes to allow NPIC to divert water for the benefit of our stockholders. Each share of NPIC water is eligible for 4 units of C-BT water.

Water enters the NPIC system from two sources. The northern diversion from the North Fork of the Cache la Poudre River is the original source of water for our system. Construction of the North Poudre or North Fork ditch bringing water from the river began in the late nineteenth century. In 1953, NPIC began receiving C-BT water via the southern diversion (Munroe Diversion) from the Cache la Poudre River.

Lawn irrigation

Lawn irrigation
Winter wheat irrigation

Winter wheat irrigation

Credit: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University,


Over 250,000 people in northeastern Larimer County and western Weld County get their water from our company.

About 23,000 acres of agricultural land are irrigated with NPIC water.

Municipal stockholders include the cities of Fort Collins and Greeley, and the towns of Ault, Eaton, Nunn, Pierce, Severance, Wellington, and Windsor. Water district stockholders include the North Weld County, East Larimer County, and Fort Collins-Loveland water districts.

Large-acreage farm and ranch users are found mainly in the north area of our system. In the southeast, we serve many small-acreage farms and ranches.


The North Poudre Irrigation Company system includes 19 reservoirs and about 200 miles of delivery canals, ditches, and laterals.

Our primary reservoirs, from northwest to southeast, are Halligan, Park Creek, #15, #2, #3, and Fossil Creek.

Halligan, Park Creek, and #15 reservoirs support the storage and distribution of North Poudre water from the North Fork of the Cache la Poudre River. Reservoirs #2 and #3 support lateral delivery lower in the system. Fossil Creek, an on-stream reservoir below the NPIC system, provides exchange and trade water storage.

See the North Poudre Irrigation System map gazetteer.


The North Poudre Irrigation Company board of directors has five members, elected by company stockholders. Each member serves a three-year term. Board continuity is supported by staggered terms of service.


Twelve full-time and one part-time employees operate the North Poudre Irrigation Company on behalf of stockholders.

Full-time employees include the general manager, the office manager/corporate secretary, water accountant, and eight maintenance and construction personnel who maintain and repair the company’s irrigation infrastructure. The part-time employee is the water clerk.