Guest column

Infrasructure on horizon will ease water worries

Guest column by Mary Kay Provaznik
Posted 12/4/18

Northwestern Douglas County is at the dawn of an exciting new era when it comes to our water supply. Water providers are coming together as partners to leverage regional assets and efficiently serve …

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Guest column

Infrasructure on horizon will ease water worries

Posted

Northwestern Douglas County is at the dawn of an exciting new era when it comes to our water supply.

Water providers are coming together as partners to leverage regional assets and efficiently serve our customers and solve regional problems.

For years, our main source of water has been the underground aquifers that lie beneath the county. As our population has grown, more and more water has been pumped from the aquifers.

Unfortunately, groundwater doesn’t replenish itself with every spring snowmelt, and as a result, the more water that was pulled out, the lower the water levels dropped in the aquifer and the more that residents were forced to drill deeper or in a new location. This situation was unsustainable.

Fortunately, the regional infrastructure will soon be in place to give northwestern Douglas County residents the choice to move from overreliance on groundwater.

Dominion Water and Sanitation District was formed in 2004 to be a wholesale provider of water and wastewater service to northwestern Douglas County.

Our approach has been to leverage location, infrastructure and partnerships to create a regionally integrated, comprehensive water system with a robust, reliable and renewable water supply.

Our first customer is the Community Authority Board serving residents of Sterling Ranch.

Potential future customers may include entities identified in the Chatfield Valley Framework, and other existing or future water providers in northwestern Douglas County.

As a result of the hard work of a number of leaders in our region and partnerships with other water providers, we are now finalizing the infrastructure and implementing water agreements that will provide residents of northwestern Douglas County with renewable water.

The backbone of the infrastructure is our Eastern Regional Pipeline, a new pipeline that will bring 1,325 acre-feet of renewable Water, Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency (WISE) project water to our region and add to Dominion’s already robust and reliable water supply portfolio.

Construction of the pipeline has begun, an event we celebrated just a few weeks ago with the Douglas County commissioners, John Stulp from the governor’s office and dozens of other community and state leaders. This pipeline will not only carry the supply agreed to through WISE, but also future supplies to service prospective customers.

We have secured the water supplies to meet the needs of our first customer, and a portion of northwest Douglas County residents through the Chatfield Valley Framework. We have an agreement with Aurora for 250 acre-feet of water that will be used for Sterling Ranch and another agreement for 230 acre-feet that can be used anywhere in our 33,000-acre service area. We have a third agreement with Aurora for 570 acre-feet of water that can be used until the pipeline is complete. Once the Eastern Regional Pipeline is operational, Dominion will implement our agreement with Castle Rock for 700 acre-feet of water, put in place to make efficient use of our infrastructure and securing a firm supply from a renewable water source.

Together with these supplies and operational agreements with our partners, Dominion is positioned to support smart, water efficient growth in the county while providing the opportunity for existing residents to connect to a sustainable water supply. Now, instead of relying on the aquifer for our water, we will be able to use it as a conjunctive supply with renewable as the primary source. This ability to use both renewable and groundwater as a conjunctive supply results in one of the most robust and reliable water systems in the metro area and the state. And by using existing infrastructure and leveraging partnerships, we are saving money for our existing and future customers and partners.

This is the beginning of a new era for northwestern Douglas County, and it is one that will benefit residents of our region for generations to come. Dominion is ready to work with and support your retail providers as we build a more reliable and sustainable future. Visit our website - www.DominionWSD.org - to learn how we can serve you.

Mary Kay Provaznik is the general manager of Dominion Water and Sanitation District. Dominion is a special district that was formed in 2004 as part of Douglas County’s vision to bring renewable water and access to more centralized water and wastewater services to northwestern Douglas County. For more information, visit www.DominionWSD.org.

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