Cortez plans to install 3,000 smart water meters this summer

April 21, 2015
Wireless meter reading explained

Wireless meter reading explained

From The Cortez Journal (Jessica Gonzalez):

Funding is in place for the City of Cortez to embark on a $1.2 million replacement of more than 3,000 manually read water meters with automated meters.

Mayor Karen Sheek and City Council approved loan and grant funds from the Colorado Water Conservation Board at the April 14 council meeting.

Through this project, the city intends to replace its current meters with automated meter readers, which use radios to collect data via a drive-by or a fixed-base receiver on every metered account in the city’s system.

The project is being funded through $250,000 in grants from the CWCB and the Department of Local Affairs, $350,000 from the city’s fund balance and $850,000 loan from the CWCB. Once bids are opened in mid-May, there will be a more precise picture of exactly how much the city will need to borrow via loan funding, said Phil Johnson, director of Public Works. It’s likely to be less than the $850,000 total…

The Public Works Department contends that the replacement project will bring the water meter system into the future with more streamlined billing and data management. It also says that it encourages conservation by providing users with more accurate water-consumption information…

After the bid period in mid-May, work is expected to begin early summer. The entire system is expected to be on automatic meters by October…

The Public Works Department will be providing regular updates on the project on the City of Cortez website, he noted, but stressed that it’s a necessary change in a time where water conservation is crucial.

“It’s a step into the future going to help us run our operation more effectively and it’s an efficient tool to help Cortez save water,” he said.

More infrastructure coverage here.


La Junta sewer rates to increase January 1, 2016

April 20, 2015

sewerusa

From the La Junta Tribune-Democrat (Candi Hill):

The La Junta Utilities Board approved a resolution Tuesday that sets new sewer rates for La Junta customers. The rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2016.

The per-month rates are as follows:

Residential Rates — $42.37

Residential West Side Rates (all residential units used as commercial rentals) – $64
Commercial/Municipal/Industrial/Large Customer Rates (all non-residential customers) – $59.21 … unless adjusted. For current commercial users, the adjusted charge shall be computed using the 12-month average water consumption from January through December of the prior year. Commercial accounts will be adjusted annually. A new commercial or industrial account shall be charged a sewer rate of $120 until the annual rate can be established using three months’ usage.

The commercial, municipal, industrial and large customer sewer rate is calculated as follows – Over 7,000 gallons: $3.50/1,000 gallons

Commercial West Side Rates – $89

The commercial West Side Sewer rate is calculated as follows – Over 7,000 gallons: $5.20/1,000 gallons
The minimum rate regardless of water use of residential, multi-dwelling, mobile home and commercial units will be $42.37 per month beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

The rate increase ties in with the city’s process of obtaining a loan to improve the city’s wastewater facilities. City Attorney Phil Malouff said the people who are going to purchase the bonds for the up to $14.2 million loan want to know there’s a minimum amount of revenue coming in from customers. These rates will establish that minimum amount of cash flow. The city has an obligation under the loan agreement and the bond, according to a resolution authorizing City Council to approve the loan, to constitute a revenue obligation of the city payable solely from the pledged property of the wastewater enterprise fund and will not create a debt or indebtedness of the city.

More infrastructure coverage here.


@H2OTracker: Can Drip Irrigation Save Humanity?

April 9, 2015


Water in the West and California’s drought: Why Colorado Springs should care — Colorado Springs Utilities

April 8, 2015

Colorado Springs circa 1910 via GhostDepot.com

Colorado Springs circa 1910 via GhostDepot.com


From Re:Sources Blog (Patrice):

Living in the West offers many advantages. Wide open spaces, majestic mountains and amazing recreational opportunities, to name a few. Still, there are challenges and water is certainly one them.

If you’ve seen the recent news, extreme drought is taking its toll in California. In light of this, we caught up with our own water planners – Abby Ortega and Leon Basdekas – to learn if what’s taking place with our neighbors could affect our community and why we need to stay involved in what’s happening around the region.

Some of our customers many ask, could what’s taking place in California happen in Colorado?

Extreme drought can happen anywhere, and we are certainly not immune. We continuously monitor our water supply situation and maintain a storage reserve in our reservoirs to meet customer demand for at least one year.

Why should we take an interest in or follow what’s happening with drought in the West?

In Colorado Springs and across the Front Range, we are heavily reliant on the Colorado River for our water supply. The Colorado River starts in Colorado, but we only keep a portion of the flow for use in the state per the Colorado River Compact. The Colorado River also serves Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, New Mexico and California (see below for a breakdown). There is also an obligation to Mexico. When any of the states or Mexico are in an extreme drought, their reliance on the Colorado River water may increase, possibly resulting in ripple effects that could negatively impact us. At any given time, the Colorado River supplies about 70 percent of our community’s water. Drought can also affect the levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which part of the western United States relies on for power production.

Will Colorado Springs experience any impact from the situation in California?

The California drought will not have direct impacts to our community’s water supply yet. We are working closely with the Upper Basin States to create a proactive contingency plan in the event that storage levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell drop to critical levels.

What is Colorado Springs Utilities doing to help protect our community from this type of situation?

Maintaining a dependable water supply for Colorado Springs residents and businesses is one of our community’s greatest challenges. Continuous long-term water planning is the reason we have a reliable water system today that supports our economy and quality of life. For us, planning is part of our daily responsibilities and includes factors such as water sources, demand, water rights, infrastructure, storage and much more. In addition, we are currently updating our Integrated Water Resource Plan, which provides the roadmap for sustainably addressing water supply and demand issues, while reflecting our community values.

What can customers do to help?

The intelligent use of water will always be a priority for our community, which has done a great job of adapting to our semi-arid climate. Our customers continue to find ways to use water wisely and we can help. A good place to start is our website, which has free xeriscape class schedules, efficiency ideas, DIY videos, and more. Folks should also join in the conversations we’re having through the Integrated Water Resource Plan process. There are opportunities for input, whether online or at upcoming meetings.

More Colorado Springs Utilities coverage here.


Road to Jamestown open to all travelers for first time since 2013 flood — The Denver Post

April 8, 2015


Water Values podcast: Krausz USA President Tom Gwynn on US water infrastructure,

April 8, 2015


The Problem with Water Markets

April 5, 2015

Originally posted on Parting the Waters:

The historic drought in California has brought much welcome attention to the problems of water allocation in the American West. I can’t even count the number of articles explaining the “wasteful” water use by California’s almond and alfalfa farmers, or the ones laying out a better way forward.

Two days ago, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank in Washington, DC, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Water Pricing, Not Engineering, Will Ease Looming Water Shortages.” The gist of the piece is that we need to stop relying on “engineering” like more pipelines, dams and canals in times of water shortage, and instead move water through market mechanisms. Water markets appear throughout the academic literature and, supposedly, have not developed on the ground, which means that water continues to be allocated according to “outdated” water laws instead of going to…

View original 632 more words


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