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Water Efficiency Plan

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Westminster is updating its Water Conservation / Efficiency Plan

The state-required Water Efficiency Plan helps Westminster plan for saving water, identifies water conservation / efficiency goals, lists the programs the city will undertake over the next five years, and documents past progress.

Public Review and Comment

Our customers have a fundamental role in shaping the city's efforts to save water. We need your input to design the best water conservation and efficiency programs for residents and businesses.

The draft Water Efficiency Plan will be available for public review and comment beginning Thursday, August 6 through Monday, October 5. Feedback will be accepted through a comment form provided below and during a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, August 26 at 5 p.m. A recording of this virtual meeting is provided above. 

Provide a Comment


Access a PDF of the plan

Are there other programs the city should consider adding?
Should some programs be terminated?
Are financial incentives large enough or too much?
Do all customer types have a program to help them use water efficiently?
Provide a Comment

Plan Summary

Plan Need

This state-required Water Conservation and Efficiency Plan is designed to promote efficient water use by all City of Westminster water customers. The city has invested considerable resources towards developing and maintaining an infrastructure system that provides clean, safe, and reliable water and sewer service whenever it is needed. Customers are at the heart of this system, and it is incumbent upon the city to support them in our collective efforts to ensure long-term water supply security for the community. After all, water is a scare resource in Colorado.

Background

Westminster serves a total of approximately 33,000 individual accounts. The overwhelming majority (93%) of Westminster’s accounts are single family residential, however, those residential accounts only use about half of the city’s drinking water. A small number of irrigation, commercial, and wholesale accounts use proportionally much larger amounts of water and make up about 40% of total water demands.

Westminster’s water demands are lowest during the winter and grow to double or triple in the summer, which is very typical for Colorado Front Range communities. About half of the city’s treated drinking water is used outdoors to irrigate landscapes. The summer irrigation “peak” drives the size of pipes, pumps, tanks, and treatment plants. Reducing the peak through efficiency programs targeted at outdoor use, such as the city’s long-standing Garden in a Box discounts and Slow the Flow irrigation consultations, as well as newer turf replacement programs including a Lawn Removal Service, can create significant cost savings for the utility and its customers.

Over the past two decades, Westminster’s water service population increased by nearly 13,000 residents and the City added almost 130 new commercial accounts, yet total water demands have actually declined by more than 2,000 acre feet. An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep in water, or 325,851 gallons. An average family of four in Westminster will use about 1/3 acre-foot of water over the course of a year.

The overall decline in water use is principally the result of reductions in water use from the single family residential sector, and gradual decreases in indoor use in particular. These consistent reductions in water use, as each existing home in Westminster becomes more efficient, have more than offset the increase in water demand from new residents and businesses over the past two decades.

On-going efficient use of water returns major benefits to the city and its customers. Reducing water demand improves drought resilience by decreasing the frequency of drought restrictions, and most importantly, can reduce, defer, and potentially altogether avoid the high costs of new infrastructure.

Without the efficiency efforts of Westminster water customers since 1980, rates could have been nearly double what they are today.

Water Conservation / Efficiency Goals

Westminster is pursuing a comprehensive suite of activities designed to ensure the City and its customers are using water efficiently. This plan describes those existing programs and identifies several new ones to be implemented over the coming years.

The City’s water efficiency goals are to:

  1.  Reduce system-wide water use from 126 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) to 110 gpcd or lower by 2030, a 12.5% reduction over 10 years.
  2. Offer efficiency programs for all customer types by expanding programs to home owners associations, commercial customers, multi-family units, and irrigation accounts.
  3. Communicate the benefits and importance of water efficiency to all customers though relevant and timely outreach materials.

Being efficient with scare water resources is the most impactful way to ensure the city maintains a long-term secure water supply for current and future generations.

Plan Development Process

This plan was developed through an iterative process of public input. An initial customer survey in early 2020 set the stage for planning priorities, which were reviewed by a Conservation Task Force comprised of city staff. The current formal public comment process will further refine the plan before staff presents to City Council for adoption.
 

Question?

Drew Beckwith, Water Resources Analyst, may be reached at dbeckwith@cityofwestminster.us or 303-658-2386 for any questions about the Water Efficiency Plan.