Denver, South Metro and Aurora to coordinate and share supply facilities?

A picture named fraservalleycollection.jpg

Denver, Aurora and the South Metro Water Supply Authority are exploring ways that facilities could be shared to optimize supply distribution, according to a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Denver Water, Aurora Water and the South Metro Water Supply Authority are preparing a report that would identify how water supply systems could be shared, Aurora Water Director Mark Pifher said. “We’re underutilizing our resources,” Pifher told a joint meeting of the Interbasin Compact Committee and the interim legislative water resources committee. “We’re looking at ways to share our infrastructure, but it may require relief in water law to give us the additional flexibility to make that kind of project work.” By capturing flows that are not used, there would be less pressure in the short term on agricultural water rights. In the long run, there would be reduced costs for storage and pipelines if the water providers are working together, Pifher said…

A study of how the three entities could work together is being prepared and will be released later this year, Pifher added. Together, the water providers supply almost 500,000 acre-feet of water to a population of about 1.7 million. South Metro includes 13 separate water providers that have been looking at their own study of how to jointly use resources better…

Denver Water is in the midst of a 10-year plan aimed at reducing per-capita water consumption by at least 20 percent. It is also looking at possible projects to physically reuse water. Aurora’s $750 million Prairie Waters Project, now under construction, will recapture its return flows from the regional wastewater treatment plant and pump them 34 miles upstream. Return flows from water imported from the Western Slope, from Denver Basin aquifers or taken as consumptive use from ag dry-ups, in some cases, can be reused to extinction under state water law. Most of the water is not physically reused now, but exchanged against native flows. A 1999 study indicated there are about 200,000 acre-feet of reusable water in the Denver Metro area, with about 133,000 acre-feet coming through wastewater plants.

More Coyote Gulch infrastructure coverage here.

Leave a Reply