From the peaks of Colorado to the valleys of southern Arizona and beyond, the water of Colorado is a vital resource to many communities throughout the western United States. Here in Northern Colorado, we intimately understand the importance of this precious resource. We know the feeling of relief from a good snowpack report just as well as the growing anxiety from a dry spring season. Whether a person lives in Bellvue or Berthoud, Wellington or Westminster, their dependence on access to clean water is shared. Water is fundamental to the health and economic prosperity of our growing region and its residents.
At the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District (FCLWD), we know there’s a lot of public uncertainty and anxiety around the future of water in the District, the state, the region and beyond. That’s why we wanted to dedicate our December blog to Water Resource Management, and what the District is doing to ensure you have access to clean water.
The FCLWD Approach to Water Management
The FCLWD sees water resource management as the complex system it truly is, with many stakeholders participating in this system of utility and stewardship. The core mission of the FCLWD is to provide our customers with the highest-quality water as economically as possible, but we acknowledge that our many partners and neighbors are also acting in the interests of their core missions and customers. Thus, we have made it a priority to foster cooperation in an effort to create new efficiencies and maximize our shared resource.
The FCLWD has a positive outlook on the future of water access in our District. Just let that resonate for a moment.
Much of this positive outlook is due to our shares of the Colorado-Big Thompson project, as well as our ownership of river water rights. But our responsible approach to growth—remember that “Growth Pays Its Own Way” is our guiding principle—also plays a major role in providing clean, economical water. However, this would not be possible without strong cooperation and trusted collaboration between the District and our partners.
Availability of water is a primary focus for the District, and an area that we see as ripe for optimization. Availability is dependent on the quality of water, the quantity of water, and the location of water. By working with our partners on the supply side, we seek to identify new opportunities to unlock available water when and where it’s needed most for maximum efficiency and minimal waste.
Sustainability Through Active Cooperation
One powerful example of how cooperation can drive effective water resource management recently involved the District and Divide Canal, a water supplier. This past spring, the president of Divide was able to coordinate deliveries with FCLWD’s water resource manager to align the interests of Divide and the FCLWD. Together, we created a dynamic approach to water distribution that helped fill reserves, serve customers and preserve water for future use.
This is the type of collaboration the FCLWD is hoping to encourage throughout our many partners and throughout the entire water resource management system as a whole.
This partnership is a testament to the potential collaboration that can be built between entities such as the Colorado ditch companies and utility companies. When both sides understand each other’s needs and timing, a win-win situation can occur. Water is a natural resource and nature is unpredictable. Thus, dynamic approaches to water resource management are key to maximizing its use. Those approaches are only sustainable through open communication and collaboration.
The Importance of Agility in Water Management
As population growth and water conservation both continue to trend upward in our region, agile management of water becomes increasingly important: Waste not, want not. One dry spring can be damaging to our reserves, just as one mountain storm can bring an abundance. If we approach the storage and distribution of water with this in mind, we can better position ourselves to serve our customers.
But smart and strategic approaches to water resource management also have to be implemented at home within our Districts and service areas. That is why the FCLWD’s “Growth Pays Its Way” approach, as well as our various programs designed to lessen peak water usage, are important. They keep us accountable as good water stewards and demonstrate that we are earnest partners within the greater system.
While we continue to work within our District to lessen the growing cost of water, we realize that collaboration with partners is a crucial aspect to smart water resource management. By working together, we can better meet the needs of our customers and ensure continued prosperity throughout the region.
Want to Pitch in? Here’s How!
We’re focused on giving YOU a secure water future, but there are plenty of small and easy things you can do at home help to pitch in. For starters, how about using a really cool Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller at a great discounted price? As part of our water conservation efforts, the District is offering an incredible discount on Rachio controllers. Don’t want to spend any money? Sign up for a free Sprinkler Checkup next summer, or check out these great conservation tips on our site.
Informed customers are the most water-smart customers, so make sure to follow the FCLWD on social media and visit our blog. That way, you’ll always be up-to-date—especially when it comes to smart water management!