Greeley city council has voted in favor of acquiring a large aquifer on the Colorado-Wyoming border to supply future growth in times of drought.

The Terry Ranch project earned unanimous support from council members during a meeting Tuesday evening. The project emerged as an alternative to expanding the city’s existing Seaman Reservoir along the North Fork of the Poudre River.

Greeley mayor John Gates said the aquifer project is the cheaper, more environmentally friendly option.

“In the final analysis I found the due diligence to be extremely thorough, which lacked any fatal flaws. If there had been any fatal flaws, I can’t speak for council, but I would’ve punted this project right down the road,” Gates said.

Wingfoot Water Resources, a private investment group, is trading the aquifer for water credits it can sell to developers interested in building within Greeley’s city limits. The company is also providing Greeley with $125 million in financing to build the infrastructure needed to tap into the aquifer.

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