Community is the cornerstone of the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District (FCLWD). It’s basically right there in our name: District. We’re all here together, 50,000 plus strong.
At the FCLWD, it’s our mission to make sure our community has access to clean, affordable water—now and into the future. Behind the scenes, there’s so much that we do every day to make that happen. Just take a look at our Capital Funding series of blogs to see those efforts in action.
But we also implement a lot of customer-facing initiatives to help ensure clean, affordable water is a continued reality. Let’s take a look back at how those programs did this year.
Garden in a Box
Garden in a Box is a super-cool DIY gardening kit developed to introduce native plants like grasses into northern Colorado yards. It’s produced by Resource Central, a Boulder-based nonprofit, and is a great way to encourage local residents to feature native, low-water plants and, in some cases, totally embrace xeriscaping. As a service to our customers, the FCLWD participates in the program, which translates into a discount for anyone who signs up for the limited amount that are available every year.
So how many FCLWD customers participated in the program? This year, 300 discounts were used by a total of 213 participants. Additionally, 39 discount-eligible gardens were purchased by 30 participants after all discounts were claimed. This translates into roughly 30,000 square-feet of xeriscape or low-water gardens planted in District gardens this summer. Estimates show that this will equate to roughly 2.1 million gallons of water saved over the course of the average garden lifetime. Amazing!
Another program the FCLWD participates in is the City of Fort Collins Sprinkler Checkup. Each year, in partnership with the City of Fort Collins we offer free sprinkler checkups to qualifying households within the District. This service is invaluable, and can help customers save so much time, energy, money and headache. During these checkups, the City of Fort Collins sends someone to check home systems for leaks and backups. They’ll also consult with customers to help them develop watering schedules that save money without sacrificing curb appeal.
This year, the City of Fort Collins visited 235 FCLWD customer homes to conduct free checkups. That translates to roughly 1,000,000 square feet of land accessed. Of all the District homes checked, an encouraging 42% of controllers were changed to a more efficient schedule.
Why does Conservation Programming Matter?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, water efficiency strategies are key to increasing the sustainability of water supplies. In fact, more utility companies across the country are looking at following the footsteps of water districts like the FCLWD by implementing consumer-facing water saving programs. It’s a fantastic way for us to work on conserving water at home (literally) while we also continually assess and evolve our approach to water management.
These types of programs also speak to the core values at the District. Our mission to provide clean, affordable water means seeking out innovative ways to help customers save money. For programs like Garden in a Box and Sprinkler Checkups, the savings extend beyond the price of participation. Customers who participate in these conservation programs save on water used and money spent over time. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Sustained Interest in Conservation Programs
As a district who values our commitment to customer service, we listen to everyone on the other end of the tap. But we don’t have to listen too hard to understand that conservation-based programming has been a huge hit with our customers.
Since 2018, the number of FCLWD customers participating in free sprinkler check-ups via our partnership with the City of Fort Collins has nearly tripled in size. Our Garden In A Box program has seen similar growth since launching in 2019. In total, the number of FCLWD customers participating in water efficiency or conservation programs has nearly increased more than 500%. Together, we’re all pitching in to help secure the future of our area.
New Program: Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller program
There’s a proven thirst for water conservation programs within the District, so we’re excited to announce a new partnership and perk for FCLWD customers. All customers now have access to discounts on Rachio Smart Controllers. These smart irrigation controllers will help save money by reducing water usage and increasing efficiency and precision. It also makes yard maintenance so easy! Fall and winter are great times to install a new sprinkler controller, check out the new program to purchase your discounted Rachio controller.
2023: Continue to Conserve Together
Of course, we do more than just sit back and listen here at the FCLWD. We also do a fair amount of proactive programming and education. On top of providing programs that help customers save water and money, we make sure to continually find ways to communicate smart water habits—check out this blog from last winter on ways to save money.
Stay tuned on all the new conservation strategies by tuning into our social media platforms or swinging by our blog.