Water Conservation Plan

Northern Water published its Water Conservation and Management Plan in December 2011.

The plan summarizes Northern Water’s extensive water conservation and management efforts:

  • Landscape water management program: educates municipal and industrial water users about managing landscape irrigation and conserving water resources.
  • Public education program: encourages and promotes water conservation and efficient water resources management through policies and programs such as the Carryover Program and the Field Exam Program.
  • Water supply management: allocates users’ water, monitors and forecasts streamflows to assist in capturing and managing available streamflows.
Landscape Water Conservation Program
The Landscape Water Conservation Program promotes landscape irrigation management standards that will conserve and protect water resources among the more than 30 municipalities that receive Colorado-Big Thompson Project water.  Northern Water has identified outdoor water use – specifically the watering of lawns and landscapes – as the area with greatest potential to improve water management that will result in water conservation.
Survey: Municipalities Asked About Water Use, Conservation
An integral part of the water conservation and management plan are the results of a survey of Northern Water’s municipal users in the fall of 2010. The municipalities were asked about water use, conservation and the appropriate role of Northern Water in supporting regional conservation efforts.  The 27 municipalities surveyed provide potable water to an estimated 770,000 Colorado residents – approximately 15% of the state’s population.
Some of the survey results included:
  • Thirteen of the 27 municipalities have water conservation plans that have been approved by the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
  • Approximately 60% of municipalities indicated that water conservation is integrated into their water supply planning, while about 26% said it was not.
  • Seventeen municipalities have someone in their organization responsible for water conservation planning and/or programming.
  • Nineteen of the municipalities have water conservation programs.

The Conservation Gardens at Northern Water are an important
part of Northern Water’s Landscape Water Conservation Program.
Details of the program are in Northern Water’s Water Conservation
and Management Plan
, which was published in December 2011.

Different Reasons for Water Conservation
The municipalities had many different reasons for water conservation. The top reasons were, in this order:
  • The right thing to do
  • Drought preparedness
  • Reduce peak expansion cost
  • To offset increased demand of future growth
The municipalities also indicated that it was important to them to offset at least a portion of increased demand of future growth through water conservation. 

Uses for Conserved Water: Creating a Drought Reserve
Future uses for conserved water would most likely include either creating a drought reserve or serving new customers. The most-implemented program measure was conservation information campaigns, followed by water waste ordinances and then landscape and irrigation standards for new development.