Greeley's Four Point Plan to Ensure a Healthy Water Supply
Water is a precious commodity in the state of Colorado, and it is only going to become more precious as our population grows and more water is needed. Greeley Water and Sewer is working to make sure that our community has a secure and reliable water supply, and with the leadership of the Greeley Water Board, has developed a plan to do just that.
It is the Four Point Plan, and through it, we ensure that our community has a safe and reliable water supply for years to come.
Greeley has a 100 year history of water conservation. Today, the conservation program is one of the largest and most successful in the state and has reduced water demand by more than 20% in recent years. It is critical that we do all we can to conserve this precious resource. The following provides an at-a-glance view of the elements of Greeley's revised conservation plan :
Existing measures in the new plan include:
New conservation measures in the new plan include:
- Water budget rate structure
- Clear and properly defined water wise landscaping code language
- Water wise landscape incentives for landlords and foreclosed properties
- Water wise landscape incentives for developers and homeowners associations
- Low budget xeric alternatives to zero landscaping
- Pilot projects are being evaluated for implementation on a larger scale
Greeley supplies approximately 120,000 people with up to 55 million gallons of water every day. We do this with an infrastructure of over 600 miles of pipeline, two water filter plants, a wastewater reclamation plant, three treated water reservoir sites, six raw water reservoirs, and a variety of pumping stations. The system is in top shape, and we do that by:
- Continuously maintaining our system by detecting and repairing leaks and rehabilitating old pipes.
- Adding new capacity to the system, such as our new 60-inch pipeline from our Bellvue Water Treatment Plant.
- Constantly upgrading facilities to make them as efficient as possible, such as the new liners we recently installed to reduce leakage in our treated water reservoirs.
Greeley needs to add more water supply to meet our needs over the coming years, at the same time that competition for water supplies is increasing and the water is getting more expensive. We need to buy additional water now before it becomes too expensive or unavailable, and that is why Greeley works with willing sellers to purchase new water supplies for our community.
Some developers bring water and others bring funding that the city uses to buy water for the development. Until about 1960, Greeley bought water ahead of demand. Few major water purchases have occurred since 1960, because our supply has been supplemented by development. As farms transitioned into residential and commercial areas, water from irrigated agriculture served new land uses. In the future, opportunities to acquire water in this way are very limited. To secure our water future, we need to begin buying ahead again, to be reimbursed when development occurs.
Agricultural acquisitions have been occurring for nearly 20 years. Many farmers want to sell their water and it is from them that we are buying. Greeley leases the water back to the farmers for 10-20 years, allowing them to continue farming while Greeley has a secure future supply.
Water storage is needed to protect the city against drought and to hold spring runoff for use in the summer.
- The cornerstone of our water storage expansion plan includes an innovative endeavor with Fort Collins to expand the Milton Seaman and Halligan reservoirs on the North Fork of the Poudre River . This expansion will increase the storage capacity of Seaman Reservoir for Greeley from 5,000 acre-feet to 53,000 acre-feet.
- Greeley is a partner in the Windy Gap Firming Project. The firming project is the most effective way to provide the additional storage that Windy Gap water users need. Instead of each water provider building their own storage, the firming project takes a collaborative approach with one reservoir for all. This minimizes cost and impacts.
- Greeley has gravel lake storage and will continue to acquire more facilities. Mined out gravel pits are lined and used for water storage.