Pipeline deal brings Denver’s south suburbs closer to new water supply
Denver Business Journal, By Cathy Proctor
October 30, 2014
Denver Water and other water utilities in the city’s southern suburbs have reached a critical agreement over a pipeline that will carry renewable surface water to the growing communities, reducing their reliance on shrinking groundwater sources.
The agreement is the purchase of a 10-year-old, 20-mile pipeline, called the Western Waterline, which runs from a point near Smoky Hill Road and E-470 east and south to a point near University Boulevard, which is near a major Denver Water pipeline.
The pipeline, owned by the East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District, can carry 38 million gallons per day.
Denver Water and the South Metro Water Supply Authority, which represents more than a dozen water utilities in the southern edges of the metro area, on Oct. 21 agreed to pay $34 million to buy the pipeline from the East Cherry Creek Valley district.
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News Release: WISE One Step Closer to Delivering Water
For Immediate Release:
October 29, 2014
The southern suburbs of Denver took a significant step forward in shifting to a water system that makes use of renewable water supply on Oct. 21 when members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority and Denver Water purchased the East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation Districtâ€™s Western Waterline. The pipeline purchase is a significant milestone in WISE (Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency), a partnership between 10 of the South Metro members, Denver Water and Aurora Water to share water supply and infrastructure.
Using Auroraâ€™s Prairie Waters system, Aurora Water and Denver Water will provide water through the Western pipeline to participating South Metro members on a permanent basis. WISE will also provide a new emergency supply for Denver Water, and offset costs and stabilize water rates for Aurora.
â€œThe purchase of ECCVâ€™s pipeline makes WISE and the sharing of water supplies possible,â€ said Eric Hecox, executive director of the South Metro Water Supply Authority. â€œThis is a significant milestone for the WISE Partnership and moves communities throughout the South Metro area one step closer to a secure and sustainable water future,â€ he said.
The 20-mile east-west pipeline along E-470 and C-470 has capacity to deliver 38 million gallons of water a day to Douglas and Arapahoe counties.
â€œOur sale of this pipeline is mutually beneficial for all the parties involved,â€ said O. Karl Kasch, president of the ECCV board. â€œUnder the purchase and sale agreement, ECCV will still have the capacity we need in the pipeline, while also supporting a regional solution to one of the most important water challenges facing the Denver metro region. We have always viewed the Western Waterline as an infrastructure asset from which the entire South Metro community can benefit, and thatâ€™s what will be accomplished.â€
Under the agreement, Denver Water and Aurora Water will sell an average of 7,250 acre-feet of water a year to South-Metro water suppliers beginning in 2016 with the option to increase to 10,000 acre-feet in future years.
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to be moving forward with the WISE Partnership,â€ said Dave Little, director of planning for Denver Water. â€œThis agreement will create more system flexibility and increase the reliability of our water supply system, leading to a more secure water future for communities throughout the region.â€
WISE water is expected to begin flowing through the ECCV pipeline in 2016, once the remaining infrastructure, such as system interconnects, are complete.
For details on the WISE project and updates, visit https://southmetrowater.org/storage-WISE.html