Progress Report: New projects and regional partnerships are creating a secure and sustainable water future

Water is our most precious resource. It is what makes the South Metro Denver region’s outstanding quality of life and growing economy possible. As summer heats up, South Metro Water is reminded of the importance of our commitment to creating a secure and sustainable water future for our region.

While there is more to be done to achieve that commitment, the good news is we are making progress.  Below is an update on the progress that South Metro Water and our members are making on our plan to ensure future generations can call the South Metro region home.

WISE breaks ground

The Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency (WISE) Project is a regional water supply project between Aurora Water, Denver Water and South Metro Water Supply Authority.  After several years of work, the project has now broken ground.  Construction of a critical component of the project’s infrastructure – a water tank at the corner of Smoky Hill Road and E-470 – began on July 27th.

This innovative regional partnership is one of the first of its kind in the country. It will reduce groundwater reliance and bolster renewable water supplies to the South Metro area, while maximizing the use of existing water assets belonging to Aurora and Denver Water.  With this groundbreaking, WISE is on track to deliver water in 2016.

Learn more at: www.SouthMetroWater.org/wise-partnership

Photo by Chris Michlewicz, Parker Chronicle
Photo by Chris Michlewicz, Parker Chronicle

Rueter-Hess Reservoir filling up

Rueter-Hess, a crucial source of water for Parker, continues to fill. As of July 20, the reservoir contained 21,100 acre feet, enough water to serve Parker’s existing population for nearly four years.  A particularly wet May and June saw the reservoir rise 3.7 feet in one four-week period and average one foot per month. Water levels are currently at 95 feet, halfway to the top.

The Parker Chronicle recently wrote an article about the recreational amenities at the reservoir that will be available for public use and enjoyment.  Details are still being determined, but trails, non-motorized boating and fishing are likely to be among the recreational activities that will be offered.

Read the recent article in the Parker Chronicle to learn more about Rueter-Hess.

Arapahoe Water’s new pipeline boosts renewable water supply

Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority (ACWWA) is constructing a new water line connection for its long term project, ACWWA Flow. The new 4,000 foot long 24 inch water line will be installed in conjunction with the City of Centennial’s Arapahoe Road – Waco to Himalaya – road widening project that will begin construction by Fall 2015.

The new pipeline will be used to deliver up to 4,400 acre-feet of ACWWA’s renewable water from the South Platte Basin to ACWWA customers. This will be delivered in part through facilities operated by East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District, in which ACWWA owns capacity. This collaborative approach with regional water partners will help provide a secure, sustainable and high quality water source for current and future ACWWA customers.

Learn more about the ACWWA Flow Project at: www.ArapahoeWater.org

Photo coutesy of ECCV.org
Photo coutesy of ECCV.org

Expanding supply through a new water treatment process

East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District (ECCV) is piloting a new high-tech water cleaning process that could further increase renewable water supplies. The process would take the salty waste liquid from existing treatment and turn it into clean and usable water. ECCV’s existing 31-mile pipeline currently carries water to 55,000 customers between the Cherry Creek Reservoir and the E-470 beltway. If proven successful, this new treatment process would further increase the efficiency of this system and help ECCV continue to provide high quality water to thousands of current and future South Metro residents.

Read the recent Denver Post article to learn more about this innovative new treatment process.

Photo courtesy of Chatfield State Park
Photo courtesy of Chatfield State Park

Chatfield Reallocation Project moving forward

The Chatfield Reallocation Project, which will expand storage in the reservoir by an additional 20,600 acre feet, continues to move forward.  Now that the project has received the necessary regulatory approvals, the project has issued an RFP for a Program Manager (PM).  The PM will be selected later this summer or early in the fall to move forward with the management of design and construction of the project which will provide additional storage capacity for several participating entities including Castle Pines, Castle Rock and Centennial Water and Sanitation District serving Highlands Ranch.

To learn more about Chatfield, visit http://chatfieldreallocation.org/.

Eric Hecox and other state water leaders discuss Colorado’s Water Plan on Colorado Public Radio

The second draft of Colorado’s Water Plan was just released.  Colorado Public Radio gathered Eric Hecox, Executive Director of the South Metro Water Supply Authority, along with the leaders of Denver Water and the Colorado River District, to discuss the plan and how the South Metro region is a leader already implementing much of what the plan recommends.

Listen to the full story on Colorado Public Radio.