WISE Water Project Receives Unprecedented Statewide Support

Denver-area project the first to receive funds from Basin Roundtables across the state

  • Colorado Water Conservation Board approves $905,000 in state and regional funds
  • WISE on track to deliver new sustainable water supply to South Metro region in 2016

Greenwood Village, Colo., Sept. 17, 2015 – The WISE water project today received unprecedented statewide support, becoming the first water infrastructure project in Colorado to receive funding from Basin Roundtables across the state.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board approved $905,000 in state and regional grant funding for the WISE (Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency) project, including funds from seven of the state’s nine Basin Roundtables.

“We are excited and grateful for the broad, statewide support for this important project,” said Eric Hecox, executive director of the South Metro Water Supply Authority, which represents 13 water providers comprising most of Douglas County and a portion of Arapahoe County. “This is a significant part of our region’s plan to transition to a more secure and sustainable water supply, and benefits of WISE extend throughout the region and to the West Slope.”

WISE is a partnership among Aurora Water, Denver Water and South Metro Water to combine available water supplies and system capacities to create a sustainable new water supply. Aurora and Denver will provide fully treated water to South Metro Water on a permanent basis. WISE also will enable Denver Water to access its supplies during periods when it needs to. All of this will be accomplished while allowing Aurora to continue to meet its customers’ current and future needs.

“This project is reflective of the regional and statewide collaboration the State Water Plan calls for to meet the future water needs of Coloradans,” said former State Representative Diane Hoppe, chair of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. “The broad financial support from Basin Roundtables across the state reflects the cooperation and smart approach that the Denver metro area’s leading water providers have taken.”

The Basin Roundtables, created in 2005 with the Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act, represent each of the state’s eight major river basins and the Denver metropolitan area. The grants are part of the state’s Water Supply Reserve Accounts program that assists Colorado water users in addressing their critical water supply issues and interests.

Roundtables that have committed funds to WISE so far include:

  • Metro Basin Roundtable
  • South Platte Basin Roundtable
  • North Platte Basin Roundtable
  • Colorado Basin Roundtable
  • Arkansas Basin Roundtable
  • Gunnison Basin Roundtable
  • Yampa/White/Green Basin Roundtable

“The Colorado Basin applauds the WISE participants for their forward thinking and collaborative approach,” said Jim Pokrandt, chair of the Colorado Basin Roundtable, which includes Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs. “WISE benefits not just the Front Range but the West Slope as well. The project enables the metro region to re-use its trans-mountain supplies, thereby reducing the need to look to other regions for water supply. In addition, the WISE agreement is an integral part of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement under which the West Slope receives funding to help meet our water project and environmental needs.”

Construction on the WISE project began in June and will continue into 2016. When WISE begins delivering water in 2016:

  • The South Denver Metro area will receive a significant new renewable water supply;
  • Denver will receive a new backup water supply;
  • Aurora will receive funding from partners to help offset its Prairie Waters Project costs and stabilize water rates; and
  • The West Slope will receive new funding, managed by the Colorado River Water Conservation District, for water supply, watershed and water quality projects.

 

Participating South Metro Water Supply Authority members:

  • Centennial Water and Sanitation District
  • Cottonwood Water and Sanitation District
  • Dominion Water and Sanitation District
  • Inverness Water and Sanitation District
  • Meridian Metropolitan District
  • Parker Water and Sanita¬tion District
  • Pinery Water and Wastewater District
  • Rangeview Metropolitan District
  • Stonegate Village Metropolitan District
  • Town of Castle Rock