Denver Water is close to 100 years old! Take a look at our very first employees, from 1918

October 24, 2014


Why do you want to go to H2O Outdoors Camp?

October 22, 2014

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

2013 H2O Outdoors campers.

2013 H2O Outdoors campers.

“The one thing that is most interesting to me is that we can drink from any water faucet. Back in Tonga we weren’t allowed to drink from the water faucet. The water from the faucet was really bad and it could make you sick. It wasn’t a good idea at all.” – Former H2O Outdoors camper

Twice a year, Denver Water’s Youth Education team meets up with Aurora Water and the Colorado River District at Keystone Science School in Summit County for a three-day water camp called H2O Outdoors.

“This camp provides high school students from varied backgrounds throughout Colorado with an opportunity to learn about water in the state and all of its complexities in a fun, hands-on environment,” said Matt Bond, Denver Water’s Youth Education manager. “These students will be future decision-makers, and the camp sets them up to be experts on the state’s…

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DOI, et. al., developing water conservation projects as part of a landmark collaborative agreement #ColoradoRiver

October 10, 2014

Colorado River Basin including out of basin demands -- Graphic/USBR

Colorado River Basin including out of basin demands — Graphic/USBR


Here’s the release from the Bureau of Reclamation (Rose Davis):

Faced with the increasing probability of shortage on the Colorado River, municipal water providers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado, and the Bureau of Reclamation are implementing a landmark Colorado River System Conservation program.

Beginning today, Reclamation is soliciting water conservation project proposals from Colorado River entitlement holders in Arizona, California, and Nevada. At a later date, water users in the Upper Basin will be invited to participate in this unique agreement.

Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Reclamation are providing up to $11 million to fund new Colorado River water conservation projects. The projects are intended to demonstrate the viability of cooperative, voluntary projects to reduce demand for Colorado River water. The program is soliciting project proposals from agriculture, and municipal and industrial Colorado River water entitlement holders.

“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to find solutions in meeting the future challenges we face in water supply and demand,” said Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp. “Our goal is to put in place a suite of proactive, voluntary measures that will reduce our risk of reaching critical reservoir levels. This pilot program is a good first step toward reaching that goal and, depending upon its success, could be expanded in the future.”

For more than a decade, a severe drought unprecedented in the last 100 years has gripped the Colorado River, reducing water levels in storage reservoirs throughout the Basin and increasing the risk of falling to critically low water levels. In July, reservoir levels in Lake Mead dipped to the lowest level since Hoover Dam was filled in 1937.

“A decade ago, municipal and agricultural agencies in California came together to help the state permanently reduce its use of Colorado River water. The goal of this latest effort is to develop new basin-wide partnerships to expand conservation activities during this historic drought for the benefit of all Colorado River water users,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

“With shortage looming on the Colorado River, CAP, with its partners, is taking immediate steps to protect Arizona’s Colorado River supply. The goal of this unique program is to develop new conservation programs from municipal, industrial, and agricultural water users from across the seven states which share the river,” said Pam Pickard, Board President, Central Arizona Project. “The program saves water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell for the benefit of all Colorado River water users and promotes a healthy river system.”

All water conserved under this program will stay in the river system, helping to boost the declining reservoir levels and protecting the health of the entire river system. The municipal agencies and the federal government agree that collaborative action is needed now, to reduce the risk to water supplies, hydropower production, water quality, agricultural output, and recreation and environmental resources across the entire Colorado River basin. The Colorado River and its tributaries provide water to nearly 40 million people for municipal use, and the combined metropolitan areas served by the Colorado River represent the world?s 12th largest economy, generating more than $1.7 trillion in Gross Metropolitan Product per year.

This first call for proposals is for Lower Basin parties. Upper Basin proposals will be requested in the future.

“We are pleased to see the momentum established in the lower basin. We look forward to a similar process starting soon in the upper basin with our partners along the Colorado River, including The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado River District, Southwestern Water Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy and Trout Unlimited. Together, we will identify and fund pilot programs that demonstrate the viability of cooperative, voluntary compensated means to reduce water demand,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO Denver Water.

Reclamation is currently requesting project proposals for 2015 and 2016 funding allocations. The due date for the responses to the solicitation is November 17, 2014. Following the two-year period, Reclamation and the municipal agencies will evaluate the effectiveness of the conservation projects funded by this program and determine if the successful programs could be expanded or extended to provide even greater protection for the Colorado River system.

“Managing the Colorado River requires a cooperative and concerted effort between diverse stakeholders, and this pilot program furthers that collaboration and provides another tool we can use in response to the drought,” said John Entsminger, General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority. “This program is the mechanism for developing a wide array of adaptable and scalable conservation projects to provide real benefit to the overall river system.”


Denver Water sets course for 2015

October 9, 2014

Ashland Reservoir roof construction via Denver Water

Ashland Reservoir roof construction via Denver Water


Here’s the release from Denver Water (Stacy Chesney/Travis Thompson):

At its meeting today, the Denver Board of Water Commissioners adopted rate changes to fund essential repairs and upgrades to Denver Water’s system in 2015.

The required revenues for 2015 equate to a rate increase of less than $1 per month on average for Denver residential customers and are needed to help fund a number of multi-year projects, such as replacing failing underground storage tanks and aging pipes, upgrading water treatment facilities to maintain water quality and meet new regulatory requirements, and rehabilitating Antero Dam in Park County and Marston Dam in Lakewood, Colo.

“Like water providers across the country, Denver Water faces many challenges to ensure we are providing our customers with a clean, safe, reliable supply of water,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO/manager of Denver Water. “From upgrading our aging facilities and staying ahead of regulatory requirements, to planning water projects in the face of climate change and much more, we are working hard to provide Denver Water customers high-quality water and reliable service every day, 24/7.”

Effective February 2015, the revenue increase of 2.2 percent equates to a rate increase of $0.95 per month on average for Denver residential customers using 115,000 gallons annually (the average annual consumption for Denver Water’s entire PDF document service area). The amounts will vary depending upon customer water usage and whether the customer lives in Denver or is served by a suburban distributor under contract with Denver Water. Customers in Denver tend to use less than 115,000 gallons per year; suburban customers tend to use more.

Under the 2015 rates, customers living in Denver will still pay among the lowest water rates in the metro area, and rates for suburban Denver Water residential customers will fall at or below the median among area water providers.

“It’s all connected,” said Lochhead. “Denver Water’s infrastructure is not just pipes and reservoirs. It includes millions of acres of Colorado forests and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, which Coloradans love. Denver Water is committed to investing money and resources to continue to strengthen the health of those rivers and streams. We have a responsibility to the environment in which we operate.”

Denver Water operates and maintains more than 3,000 miles of distribution pipe — enough to stretch from Los Angeles to New York — as well as 19 reservoirs, 22 pump stations, 30 underground storage tanks, four treatment plants and more. The water provider’s collection system covers more than 4,000 square miles and operates facilities in 12 counties in Colorado.

Moody’s Investors Service recently upgraded Denver Water’s revenue bonds from Aa1 to Aaa, its highest rating. “Denver Water is one of only 10 utilities in the country to receive this rating,” said Lochhead. “This upgrade is a result of having a well-maintained system and strong management team focused on long-term planning. Along with receiving the highest ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, this top rating allows Denver Water to borrow money for major capital projects at a much lower cost.”

Denver Water is a public agency funded by water rates, hydropower sales, fees for new service (tap fees), bond sales and cash reserves, not taxes. Water rates are designed to recover the costs of providing water service — including maintenance of pipes, reservoirs, pump stations and treatment plants — and also encourage efficiency by charging higher prices for increased water use. Most of Denver Water’s annual costs are fixed and do not vary with the amount of water sold.

More Denver Water coverage here.


How to become an eighth-grade TV star

October 9, 2014

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

Angelica Diaz in study recording 30-second commercial for Rocky Mountain PBS

Angelica Diaz in-studio recording her conservation commercial for Rocky Mountain PBS.

By Matt Bond, Denver Water Youth Education manager

Inspiration strikes in unlikely places, and for Angelica Diaz the spark was water conservation.

Last spring, Diaz, then an eighth-grade student at Kepner Middle School in Denver, entered the Helping Other People Emerge scholarship contest sponsored by Denver Water and Minority Enterprise & Educational Development, which asked students to propose novel water-saving ideas.

The result was brilliant! Diaz, who had recently embraced being part of the team that filmed and broadcasted the daily announcements at school, put her creative video and editing skills to use on her contest submission and produced a short video touting the benefits of shorter showers and high-efficiency showerheads as simple ways to make a difference in the world.

Diaz earned a $500 scholarship for her imaginative video, but with such a dynamic message displayed through…

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How to celebrate the New Year in October

October 2, 2014

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

Happy New Water Year!

Happy New Water Year!

By Lindsay Weber, Denver Water demand planner

In 91 days, downtown Denver will be filled with performances, confetti and fireworks to ring in the New Year. But, at Denver Water the ball dropped last night and we popped the cork for 2015.

That’s because a water year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of the following year and is designated by the calendar year in which it ends. That means the 2015 water year starts today.

This timeframe makes sense for water resource managers because a water year provides a natural breakpoint between the end of the summer — the season of high water use — and the beginning of fall — when snow begins to accumulate — making it easier to compare precipitation across different years.

Because Sept. 30 also marks the end of the outdoor watering season, this timeframe is a natural breakpoint…

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Denver Water: Did you know? Much of Earth’s Water Is Older Than the Sun

October 1, 2014

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