Protecting a valuable and limited resource
Fort Collins-Loveland Water District (FCLWD) and its Board of Directors believe that conservation and efficiency are critical components to sound water planning. To meet future water needs, the District and Board are pursuing a multi-prong approach that includes water conservation, a tiered rate structure and acquiring additional water resources. In fact, FCLWD, along with a number of neighboring communities, has seen a significant reduction in water usage and has an approved conservation plan with the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
Additionally, the District is constantly looking for ways to improve its use of resources overall. This includes everything from maintaining 95% efficiency in the water system by actively repairing leaks to installing a hydro turbine at Soldier Canyon Filter Plant, enabling the plant to now run nearly carbon neutral.
To further its long-term conservation planning, the District has also moved to a cost of service model to encourage efficient water use by its residential, commercial and irrigation customers. Customers who place a higher than usual demand on the water system are now charged more, incenting everyone to consume less.
The model stems from a rate study, completed in 2018, that revealed that some customer classes are placing a higher demand on the water system now than in the past, particularly homeowners and irrigation users. A customer class is a rate group that is based on the cost of service for that particular group. Overall revenue increases averaging 4% have been recommended to rebalance water usage with fees.
Sprinkler System Audit
The District also participates in the City of Fort Collins Sprinkler System Audit program, offered to all District customers from June through August. The free sprinkler assessments help residents and homeowner associations identify problems, such as leaks, create a custom watering schedule and provide recommended system upgrades. The City of Fort Collins provides free audits to the first 125 FCLWD customers, available on a first come, first served basis. Visit fcgov.com for additional information. Learn more here. This program is FULL for 2019, but you can sign up on the 2020 wait list.
Conservation at Home
You are an important part of conserving water in Colorado. We encourage you to use the Water Calculator to help you determine gaps and find areas where you can reduce your water usage.
FCLWD has a leak detection program to help you identify leaks to eliminate wasted water and to help keep your monthly bill low and predictable. Each customer meter is programmed to alert us for high or low usage, compared to normal usage, to identify leaks past the customer tap or a malfunction of the meter itself. All known leaks in the distribution lines are repaired immediately. Leaks found on customer service lines are reported to the customer. All new and replacement water lines are pressure tested after installation to ensure that they meet established guidelines for water loss.
We also encourage you to monitor your home for water leaks in your faucets and toilets. In homes, toilet leaks account for the majority of unexpected jumps in bills and can be a major source of water inefficiency. We recommend all homeowners to replace old and existing toilets with a new WaterSense toilet. We also encourage homeowners to test their toilets quarterly with food dye for leaks. If you have questions, please contact us before you buy new toilets or conduct the test.
Town of Windsor Conservation Kits: The Town of Windsor offers free home water conservation kits to Windsor residents. The kits are available for pick up at Town Hall during normal business hours. Visit windsorgov.com for additional information.
Fort Collins Utility Xeriscape: Looking to change your landscaping? Xeriscape is the creation of a healthy, beautiful landscape that also conserves water. Fort Collins Utilities offers inspiration and resources to help you plan your Xeriscape project. Visit fcgov.org for additional information.
Larimer County Workforce Center Home Efficiency Assessment: Larimer County Conservation Corps offers services and products to help you improve your home’s efficiency. They’ll inspect your home, install appropriate efficiency products and educate you about best water efficiency practices. Visit larimer.org for additional information.
Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District Drought Tolerant Bluegrass: Learn more about seed varieties for the Northern Colorado landscape that have adapted well to drought cycles. Visit northernwater.org for additional information.