WELD COUNTY, Colo. — One of the largest synthetically lined, raw water reservoirs in Colorado celebrated its grand opening Wednesday. 

The Ranch Reservoir is located near the South Platte River and Kersey, on property adjacent to Weld Adams Water Development Authority President Bob Lembke’s 70 Ranch in Weld County.

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"We don't have a water shortage problem in Colorado," Lembke said. "There is plenty of water in Colorado. We just have to capture and store it for those times and seasons when we need it."

Colorado Treasurer Dave Young helps turn the wheel to allow water into the 70 Ranch Reservoir.
Colorado Treasurer Dave Young helps turn the wheel to allow water into the 70 Ranch Reservoir.
United Water Colorado

More than three million cubic yards of dirt were removed during the three-year construction process and will hold about 5,500-acre feet of water.

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"This is a big deal," said Drew Damiano, vice president of operations for the Weld Adams Water Development Authority. "The reservoir is a critically important component of our system. It will allow us to utilize our decreed water rights to the fullest extent for agricultural, municipal and industrial purposes."

Drew Damiano and Ron vonLembke getting ready for the grand opening of the 70 Ranch Reservoir in Weld County.
Drew Damiano and Ron vonLembke getting ready for the grand opening of the 70 Ranch Reservoir in Weld County.
United Water Colorado

Lembke purchased the 70 Ranch in 2003 and some historians believe it got its name because it is 70 miles from Denver, Cheyenne and Sterling, the three primary cattle shipping hubs in northern Colorado during the 19th century.

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