With thousands of acres of irrigable land, water has always been and will continue to be central to the 70 Ranch's operations. The 70 Ranch is ideally located along the South Platte River below the confluence of the St. Vrain and Cache La Poudre Rivers.
Recharge ponds are integral to the water systems of both agricultural and municipal water suppliers. Designed to let water seep into groundwater aquifers and return to the river, recharge ponds allow for subsurface storage and retiming of significant quantities of water during wet periods that can be subsequently used by those same water systems during dryer periods. More information on recharge ponds can be found here.
The 70 Ranch's sandy soils make it ideal for recharge sites as water can quickly permeate those sandy soils and reach the aquifer with minimal evaporation and transpiration losses.
70 Ranch has partnered with the United Water and Sanitation District, Riverside Irrigation District, and the Colorado State Land Board to create recharge areas on and around the ranch most recently with the construction of Riverside Recharge Pond #2, which began recharging water in the Spring of 2015.
70 Ranch Reservoir
Partnering with the Platte River Water Development Authority, a 5,500 acre-foot storage facility is being constructed on the 70 Ranch. At completion, this facility will be used to store water for the support of 70 Ranch's cattle and farming operations as well as provide storage for local agricultural and municipal water providers.
Colorado agriculture is largely made possible by the efforts of local irrigation ditch companies. Ditches allow water to be taken from the main stem of a local river for delivery to farmers. The 70 Ranch has multiple irrigation ditches running through its lands that support thousands of acres of surrounding farmland. These ditches include the Riverside Intake Canal, the Illinois Ditch, the Lower Latham Ditch, and the Empire Canal.
Wells and Pipeline System
The 70 Ranch's agricultural water needs are supported by an intricate well and pipeline system. Over 25 miles of pipelines on the ranch have the capacity to serve 29 pivots and numerous stock watering tanks. The pipelines are fed by four wells permitted to pump between 1200-2500 gpm. These wells are augmented by credits from the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Riverside Irrigation District.