• Our fight is dual-purposed: Avoid pipelines through northern Fort Collins' neighborhoods and influence the City of Thornton to do the right thing by all Fort Collins residents: LEAVE THEIR WATER IN THE POUDRE RIVER. Commissioners rejected Thornton's 1041 application for a northern pipeline route - a victory for us. Now, Thornton has sued them. 

  • Our lawyer has WON A MOTION TO INTERVENE IN THE LAWSUIT!  9/23 UPDATE: Projected court dates have been set and are happening this fall. See dates below. 

  • We are raising funds so our lawyer can be present at all negotiations and hearings to continue to push for the river route! Please consider giving. The total cost of intervention and his continued involvement is $20,000. We've raised about $15,000 thanks to you all. We are almost there! Every little bit helps. Please Click to Donate. THANK YOU! 

  • NISP meetings Oct 9 and Nov 13. Please attend! See details below.


Recent Actions & Events

Recent Actions 


***Significant Court Dates for Thornton's Lawsuit, Fall 2019***

October 4, 2019: Deadline for County to certify and file administrative record. Parties have 14 days to object.

November 15, 2019: Thornton gives their opening brief (if no objections to admin record).

December 20, 2019: County, and interveners including No Pipe Dream, Save the Poudre and Eagle Lake give response briefs (if no objections to Thornton's brief).

August 31, 2019

District court judge approves Eagle Lake neighborhood's motion to intervene. Historically, Eagle Lake has voiced a preference for a pipeline down Douglas Road rather than leaving the water in the Poudre. Their amicus brief is due on November 15, 2019.

July 14, 2019

Despite Thornton's opposition, the district court judge has APPROVED our motion to intervene on the lawsuit! Judge Juan Villasenor presented sound arguments in support of No Pipe Dream intervening in Thornton's lawsuit against Larimer County. Thornton argued we did not have any legal standing in the case. He cited federal courts that recognize the concept of "piggyback" standing. He recognized that injury to our members--if the pipeline goes through--is sufficient to confer standing. In the same order, he also granted Save the Poudre's request to intervene. 

What does this mean? It means that No Pipe Dream's lawyer has a seat at the table! Thornton and Larimer County cannot negotiate behind closed doors without our lawyer present. He will represent us and our interests and make sure they are considered when determining the outcome of the lawsuit. This is a big WIN! 

June 10, 2019

No Pipe Dream files its motion to intervene in Thornton’s lawsuit to overturn Larimer County’s denial of the Thornton Water Project. This gives our lawyer a seat at the table. He will remind Larimer County and Thornton of the citizens' overwhelming desires for a different route (with preference for the Poudre River Alternative). Our legal counsel will make every effort to avoid an out-of-court settlement that would disregard the interest of the No Pipe Dream Corporation and Larimer County citizens. 

June 5, 2019

No Pipe Dream holds its first official meeting as a non-profit corporation.   Becoming a non-profit shields our members from legal consequences concerning pipelines through their properties and neighborhoods. Board members from several affected neighborhoods were elected. To remain a  member, you must make a donation of at least $10 annually. 

June 3, 2019

Larimer County files response to lawsuit. Read their response.  We are pleased they are sticking to their guns so far. They say: The Board of County Commissioners’ determination that Thornton did not satisfy each of the twelve review criteria is supported by competent evidence when the record is reviewed as a whole. Way to go, Commissioners! 

April 11, 2019

Thornton files a lawsuit against Larimer County over the denial of their latest 1041 application for the County Road 56 route.  The County Commissioners are preparing their response.

March 18, 2019 

The County Commissioners released their statement on why they rejected Thornton's application. Read it here:

Official Statement from Larimer County Commissioners on Thornton Proposal released.

February 11, 2019

Commissioners vote down Thornton pipeline 3-0

Commissioner Donnelly named the significant impact on private property owners as a part of his decision to deny. Commissioner Kafalas focused on several Land Use violations, but ultimately called for a more synergistic plan, stating Thornton did not present all reasonable alternatives. Commissioner Johnson gave voice to the 300 citizens who came to 7 hearings over the year, and 1000s of emails, stating it was much more than a NIMBY reaction. Click Here to watch the entire hearing live.  THORNTON'S DENIED 1041 

Thornton's Douglas Road pipeline route was denied. Our lawyer presented during public testimony on Jan. 28 and made a difference in the vote. No pipeline is ideal for all LC citizens! 

Mayor Wade Troxell Speaks Out for River Route, May 2019

The City of Fort Collins Mayor would like to see the Poudre River used as a conveyance by Thornton.


Check out Save the Poudre's video on Thornton's Pipeline. Director Gary Wockner, PhD, give a great explanation.


The County sponsored a working group to come up with solutions for Thornton in the fall of 2018. Thornton rejected the favored river route and proposed an alternate pipeline route along Cty Rd 56, which was denied Feb. 11, 2019.

Related Happenings

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) by Northern Water 

Remember, NISP wants a pipeline, too!


Board of Directors of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Municipal Subdistrict will meet on:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

6:00 p.m. 

The Drake Centre 

802 W Drake Road

Fort Collins, Colorado 

The Commissioners will have another session, open to the public, on:

Wednesday, November 13

Time TBA

Larimer County Courthouse 

200 W. Oak St., Fort Collins 

First-floor hearing room 

(NISP) by Northern Water is closely tied to the proposed 48-in. Thornton pipeline. The county has floated co-location of the two pipelines through one or more northern neighborhoods. Thornton's current proposed pipeline route along Cty. Rd 56 literally cuts one property in half, endangering the house.  NISP's proposed 54-in. pipeline is expected to take more private property. To learn more about NISP and the IGA they've filed with the courts click above. Save the Poudre is active in this fight. 

The Poudre Heritage Alliance, upcoming river events: 

September 20 - Pedaling the Poudre w/ Water Education Colorado

September 21 - Pedaling the Poudre w/ Water Education Colorado


The areas along Douglas Road and County Rd 56 are rich and diverse in their people, nature and wildlife. Click below to see the area in Larimer County that's most impacted by Thornton's proposed pipeline. FYI, it takes a few seconds to load but it's worth it!

support no pipe dream



No Pipe Dream Needs Funds! 

Can you Help?

We use your money wisely; won’t you consider giving to continue our efforts? Our lawyer will be involved in providing direction to working group members and writing a rebuttal in the future, if needed. 

WE NEED FUNDS to keep our lawyer involved in our next steps. Please give what you can!!

 Where Your Dollars Go

81% Lawyer fees
13% hired experts (hydrologists)
4% yard signs
2% admin  


 Use our GoFundMe account to donate to help pay our legal fees to keep the pipeline out of northern Fort Collins and  to continue pushing for a river route instead. 

why the poudre alternative works -- Words from our lawyer


Could cost less or comparable

"Thornton evaluated a Poudre River Alternative during its initial scoping process and found that the alternative would save the City up to $150 million in pipeline construction costs by avoiding approximately 26 miles of pipeline."

River point of withdrawal can be changed


"Thornton argues that Colorado water law prohibits the Board from adopting the Poudre River Alternative. More specifically, Thornton argues that the Board may not adopt the Poudre River Alternative because it would:

· require an unlawful change in the point of withdrawal of its water shares from the Poudre River; and,

· unlawfully diminish water quality when compared to Thornton’s desired point of withdrawal;

· unlawfully diminish water quantity as the water flows down the River.


Thornton’s arguments do not have factual and/or legal support. Instead, both the facts and Colorado water law would allow Thornton to implement the Poudre River Alternative.

Thornton can legally convey its water shares down the Poudre River and can withdraw that water “at any point desired. Since the Poudre River Alternative is conceptually authorized by Colorado water law, it is both reasonable and legally available to Thornton."

County Commissioners have the legal power

"Colorado law authorizes this Board to regulate the Thornton Water Project, including requiring an alternate point of withdrawal from the Poudre River. "

Thornton does not have a right to a certain water quality

"Thornton argues that it has a legal right to water quality at the LCC head gate and or at WSSC #4. Thornton has no legal right to the water quality at either of these locations. First, Thornton did not purchase all of its water shares at the location of the LCC head gate or WSSC#4. It purchased most of its water shares with degraded water quality from farms measurably downstream along the LCC. Second, Colorado water law does not guarantee a degree of water quality when purchasing water shares. .... 

Thornton is at most entitled only the degree of water quality delivered to the farms it purchased."

Thornton's water shares would likely not be further diminished if left in Poudre

"Thornton has not proven that any water loss resulting from the Poudre River Alternative would be unreasonable when compared to the water loss historically experienced when its water shares flowed in the canal to farms in eastern Larimer and Weld Counties."

Using the Poudre would provide real benefits to Larimer County

" Thornton has proposed a set of benefits to Larimer County if its Supplement #3 is approved (County Road 56 route). However, many of the proposed “benefits” are actions Thornton already planned to implement. In the December 2018 hearing, the Board noted that the benefits package proposed by Thornton was woefully inadequate."

"Ideally, the Board would prefer to issue a 1041 permit that complies with all Land Use Code requirements, minimizes adverse impacts to the County, and confers meaningful and enforceable benefits to the County. Unfortunately, Thornton has failed to present such a 1041 application and may leave the Board with no other option but to deny the 1041 permit application."


Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part.   


(Hal Borland, This Hill, This Valley)