waterwise The official official publication publication of of Colorado Colorado WaterWise WaterWise The
Excellence in Conservation
The Voice of the Colorado Water Conservation Community
In this issue... Pg. 3 Proposed conservation legislation
Pg. 4-5 WaterSense awards and updates Pg. 6 An interview with Dan Stellar
Pg. 12 Update on the Value of Water Project Platinum Member
Winter Winter 2013 2013
Photo By Desi Walls
s r o t i d e e h From t As important as conservation is to all of us at Colorado Waterwise, it is sometimes seen as the ugly stepchild for many water utilities. Fortunately, for some who work tirelessly in the conservation arena, their efforts have been acknowledged and rewarded. Read about the programs that won national awards for the City of Boulder and Colorado Springs utilities. Learn about the program, implemented by the City of Greeley that earned them the Smart Marketing Award from the Irrigation Association. This year, Colorado Waterwise was very pleased to acknowledge Tracy Bouvette’s tireless contribution to water conservation over the years with the Gardener Award at the Colorado WaterWise annual Conservation Summit. Colorado’s weather is never to be outdone. This spring Colorado was ablaze with forest fires but the looming drought seemed to abate with some late spring snow and early summer rainfall – at least in parts of the state. Epic rainfall in September caused sleepless nights for many of Denver Water’s utility workers and unprecedented flooding and damage. Ann Baker describes some of the damage in Washed Out: Denver Water Recovers from Floods. An interview with Dan Stellar highlights how his career has shifted from climate change and energy issues to his work in water conservation as the Senior Director of Sustainability Programs for the Center for ReSource Conservation. But conservation is conservation and we are reminded of the close tie between water, electricity, and gas in Conservation Synergy: The Case for integrating Water and Energy Efficiency Programs. The Value of Water campaign has been revitalized and is currently seeking sponsors to develop an educational toolkit for Colorado Waterwise partners that will assist them in promoting and awareness of the importance of water in Colorado. Thanks goes out to new and ongoing sponsors who made the annual summit possible as well. Reach the editors at: Kim Frick: Kfrick@scwtp.org Ruth Quade: Ruth.Quade@greeleygov.com Leslie Martien: Leslie@aquacraft.com
Kim Frick Ruth Quade Leslie Martien
Colorado WaterWise Ongoing Meetings Colorado WaterWise Board Meetings Second Thursday of each month, 10 a.m.-noon RMSAWWA Water Conservation Committee Meetings Second Monday of each month from 10:30-11:30
WaterWise is the official publication of Colorado WaterWise and is published four times a year (Mar, Jun, Sep, and Dec). Articles are due one month before the newsletter comes out. Officers: Co-chairs: Lyle Whitney-Aurora & Frank Kinder-Colorado Springs Utilities Co-secretaries Drew Beckwith-Western Resource Advocates & Alyssa QuinnPlatte Canyon Treasurer: Ruth Quade-Greeley Board Members: The officers above and Becky FedakBrendle Group; Dan Stellar-Center for ReSource Conservation; Alyssa QuinnPlatte Canyon, Amy Conklin-Barr Lake; Russ Sands-Boulder; Lucas Mouttet-Fort Collins; Lindsay Weber-Denver Water Newsletter Committee: Editors, Kim Frick, Leslie Martien & Ruth Quade Design: Rob Sherman Advertising Sales: Ruth Quade, Ruth. Quade@greeleygov.com To submit a story topic, email Kim Frick at firstname.lastname@example.org WaterWise articles may be reproduced in other publications with credit given to the author and ColordoWaterWise. Any advertisement of or reference to a product or service is not intended as an endorsement. This newsletter is intended to spark dialogue about various issues concerning water conservation in Colorado. The viewpoints of the authors are not necessarily those of the Colorado WaterWise.
COLORAD O WATER EFFICIENCY A Legislative Proposal for Wise Water Use
Conservation is a critical aspect of maintaining a sustainable, reliable water supply for Colorado. Our state’s water providers have a proven track record managing effective conservation programs that use this most precious natural resource efficiently. But we need to do more. WHAT: Proposed legislation would save water by phasing out the sale of less efficient lavatory faucets, showerheads, ™ toilets and urinals and offering WaterSense-certified fixtures in their place. WaterSense is the water equivalent to the well-known Energy Star label. A WaterSense label certifies that a fixture has been independently tested through a public/private partnership to meet high standards for water savings and performance. WHY: Conservation is a critical aspect of maintaining a sustainable, reliable water supply for Colorado. Our state’s water providers have a proven track record managing effective conservation programs that have significantly reduced historic levels of use. But, as outlined in the 2010 Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) reports, we need to do more. A unified, collaborative conservation approach can assist in meeting our goals. Benefits from the legislation include: • Providing an estimated savings of up to 40,000 acre-feet of water per year by the year 2050, which could be dedicated to a variety of uses. • Reducing pressure to transfer agricultural water rights for municipal and industrial use. • Providing uniform water conservation standards throughout the state. • Providing no-cost water conservation savings for medium and small water providers that do not have dedicated conservation programs. • Engaging the entire state in a water efficiency effort. HOW: The proposed legislation will have manufacturers phase out the sale of four indoor water fixtures in the state of Colorado. The legislation will include: • Definitions for WaterSense lavatory faucets, showerheads, tank-type toilets and flushing urinals. • A timeframe to gradually phase in sales of new WaterSense fixtures. • An annual report by manufacturers with percentages of sales during the phase-in period. • No preemption of more restrictive local action. • A repeal of specific parts of the Water Smart Homes Option made obsolete by these WaterSense fixtures. WaterSense certified products reduce water use over the existing federal standard and are competitively priced, compared to their less-efficient counterparts. WHO: A coalition of water providers interested in the efficient use of water – including the state’s largest water utility, Denver Water – have been active and engaged partners in the discussion of water efficiency with the State. WHEN: Now is the time to act, as this proposal builds upon Governor Hickenlooper’s direction to develop a state water plan, the recommendations in the SWSI reports, and the “no and low regrets” options for water conservation. CONTACT: Chris Piper Denver Water 303-601-4814 email@example.com WaterWise
Julie McKenna Northern Water 303-539-1320 Julie@bbmk.com
Chris Treese Colorado River District 970-945-8522 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
By Russ Sands, City of Boulder At the 2013 WaterSmart Innovation conference in Las Vegas, both the City of Boulder Utilities/Public Works and Colorado Springs Utilities were presented with EPA WaterSense Excellence Awards. In total, six Excellence Awards were given out with Colorado taking three of the six; the other local winner was Habitat for Humanity in Denver for building WaterSense labeled homes. The Boulder and Colorado Springs awards recognized both utilities’ continued promotion of WaterSense and innovation in the field of water conservation. The City of Boulder was recognized for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled products, for its new toilet “Freebate” program where customers can get a free WaterSense labeled 0.8gpf toilet (retail $250) when they purchase a low-cost install through the Center for ReSource Conservation ($120 for CRC to install the new toilet, verify the previous model’s gpf and recycle the old toilet). Colorado Springs Utility’s ongoing commitment to WaterSense labeled homes, WaterSense conservation outreach after recent fires, and partnering with the University of Colorado students to upgrade indoor fixtures were highlighted for Excellence in Strategic Collaboration. Boulder and Colorado Springs Utilities are proud to partner with WaterSense and to support Colorado WaterWise. “EPA, and particularly EPA Region 8, is especially proud to be home to so many exemplary WaterSense partners. Water has long been valued as an important resource in our region and it comes as little surprise that Colorado Springs Utilities, City of Boulder Utilities/Public Works and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver are leading the way nationally in promoting and supporting WaterSense and water efficiency,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA Regional Administrator. For more information on the winners go to: http:// www.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/fall2013. html#one.
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
WaterSense Update By Alicia Marrs, EPA Despite a rather conspicuous absence during most of the month of October, never fear, the WaterSense program is gearing back up to speed as we finish out 2013 and start looking towards 2014. Here’s a little insight on what has happened recently and what’s to come: Commercial WaterSense continues to promote WaterSense at Work, a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use. In addition to these resources, EPA also released the final specification for pre-rinse spray valves (PRSV) in Sept 2013. Manufacturers that produce PRSVs that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance can now apply to have their products certified. WaterSense is also in the process of collecting information on flushometer-valve toilets which are typically found in commercial, institutional or industrial restrooms. With the release of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to develop a specification for flushometer-valve toilets, WaterSense invites interested parties to provide written comments or suggestions to email@example.com. Outdoor On September 19, 2013, WaterSense released a draft labeling system, draft specification and supporting documentation that outlines potential changes to the current certification programs for irrigation professionals. The draft labeling system and revised specifications create and institute a consolidated and common set of requirements that complement and streamline each of the WaterSense program specifications. Within these documents is discussion of potential changes to the WaterSense irrigation partnership program. EPA is proposing to modify how WaterSense engages with irrigation professionals by removing the WaterSense partnership designation for individuals certified through WaterSense labeled programs and expanding program benefits to all professionals certified through labeled programs. By implementing these changes, WaterSense can ensure consistency in the evaluation of professional certification programs and a base level of organizational competency among professional certifying organizations (PCOs) regardless of the types of professional certification program that earns the WaterSense label. Based on available resources, these changes could allow WaterSense to expand the types of certification programs that can earn the WaterSense label and extend the benefits of the WaterSense program to a larger number of certified individuals. Fix a Leak Week 2014 – Chasing Leaks! It may seem early, but it’s time to start thinking about Fix a Leak Week 2014! The dates have been set for March 1723, 2014, and as you probably already know, it’s a great time to remind your customers to fix leaks both inside and outside their homes. This year EPA will encourage interested partners to incorporate the “Chasing Leaks” theme into their communities’ events by considering a running race. The last few years several partners from across the country have used 5k and family friendly run/walks as an effective way to get their communities involved and educate customers about finding and fixing leaks. To help partners promote Fix a Leak Week 2014 WaterSense has already provided updated materials and tools on its partner website. And don’t forget to let WaterSense know about whatever you plan to do so EPA can help promote your efforts! WaterWise
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
An interview with
Center for ReSource Conservation By Leslie Martien, Aquacraft, Inc. WW: Tell us a little about yourself. I have spent most of my career working in the environmental sector and for the past 7 or so years I’ve been particularly involved in water and water conservation. In my current position, as the Senior Director of Sustainability Programs for the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC), I oversee water and energy conservation projects across Colorado and now, into Wyoming. Our work at CRC is very implementation focused. We’re primarily a “boots on the ground” organization, and one of the things that I really like about CRC is that every single day, we’re making conservation happen. We’re privileged to work with many of the major water providers in the Front Range, and we help them implement aspects of their conservation programs. A big part of my job is interacting closely with these providers and this is one of the things I enjoy the most. Not only do we offer services that the water providers find valuable, but we also get to learn from what they all are doing. WW: How did you get started in the water conservation business? I have a graduate degree from Columbia University in International Affairs and Environmental Policy, and immediately after graduate school I started working at Columbia, managing their water center. In my graduate studies, I had actually focused more on energy and climate change issues, and I really sort of just “fell” into the water world. It was truly a case of being in the right place at the right time, since I find water-related issues to be fascinating, and in many ways, even more critical than most other environmental issues. The profile of water-related issues is really growing, and I see big increases even over the last 5-10 years in the general level of awareness about water and water resources. WW: Regarding water conservation, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing Colorado? In general, one of the biggest challenges facing the conservation community is that water conservation still is not taken as seriously as it should be. I think that’s started to change, and, as with water in general, even over the past 5-10 years, the profile of conservation has grown quite a bit. I do feel like the conservation community has a seat at the table in studying future water issues, at least in Colorado. However, with all that said, I think conservation is still not considered to be as viable as solutions such as new supply and urban-agricultural transfers. Ultimately, for conservation to realize its full potential, it has to be considered on fully equal footing with all other options for meeting water resources needs. I would argue that conservation should actually be preferable to most other options, but for the time being I’d be happy just to see it considered equally. WW: What regulatory measures do you think will have the biggest impact on water conservation in Colorado? I don’t know the exact types of regulatory measures, and CRC does not advocate for or against specific regulations. However, a few things come to mind. The first is that the ultimate factor causing the anticipated increase in residential water use is the projected increase in population growth in the Front Range. I’m a transplant to Colorado myself, and I understand why so many people want to live here. To some extent, the growth is inevitable, but how we handle the WaterWise
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
Interview with Dan Stellar
“In general, one of the biggest challenges facing the conservation community is that water conservation still is not taken as seriously as it should be.“ growth can have major impacts on what our water demand looks like 30-50 years from now. Regulatory measures that encourage smart decisions about water use in new construction will continue to be critically important. On a more macro-level, new land use planning needs to take into account water resources as well. For example, certain land use decisions, such as encouraging high-density development could have profound impacts on how communities use water. WW: What technologies do you think will have the biggest impact on water conservation in Colorado? There is a tremendous array of conservation technologies out there, and at CRC we have the opportunity to learn about many of these new products. Some are really great, and it’s exciting to see all the innovative ideas coming out. One of the things we’ve learned, though, is that technology really isn’t sufficient to lead to sustained water conservation benefits, especially on the outdoor side. With virtually any technology, especially one that’s used outdoors, you need to have education and outreach as part of rolling out that technology. In our water program at CRC we do a tremendous amount of analysis of our programs We’re very data-driven, and as part of all of our programs we gather a great deal of information about who our customers are, how they use water and what, if any conservation features they utilize. Everything is aggregated and reported anonymously, and we’re looking for trends. One of the things we’ve seen is that so much of water use is really about behavior, and while certain technologies can definitely help conserve, education and outreach are at least equally important. WW: What has given you the most satisfaction during your career? When I worked at Columbia, I had the opportunity to be involved in a few international development products that focused on bringing reliable supplies of water to rural, poor communities. A project that we did in Brazil was extremely successful, and the model we used was adopted by the state government as a way to help many of their most isolated communities. That project was incredibly rewarding, and I continue to be very proud of what we accomplished, in that we really changed people’s lives. In my current role at CRC, a lot of what I’m proud of goes back to implementation. If you look at some of our key programs, such as Slow the Flow and Garden-In-A-Box, those are most likely some of the most widely-adopted conservation programs in Colorado. They are an important part of what conservation in Colorado looks like, and they’re really high-quality, highly impactful programs. Although my role has been small, I feel proud to have contributed to that. WW: Beyond work, what other interests do you have? Passions, goals, missions? I love the outdoors, and I spend as much time as possible hiking and running. Access to the outdoors was a really important factor in why I moved to Colorado from New York, and even after several years I can’t get over how beautiful it is here, and how much there is to do. I feel like you could spend every weekend exploring the trails and mountains, and still not scratch the surface of how much there is. Right after college I lived in Alaska for several years, and I loved the outdoor opportunities there too. I think that it’s my passion for the outdoors that motivates my interest in environmentalism and my belief in the importance of conservation. WW: Any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? I hope our readers will take this opportunity to get more involved with Colorado WaterWise. Getting involved could mean many things, including coming to board meetings, joining a committee, or coming to the Annual Conservation Summit. There’s so much great work happening in the conservation sector, but a lot of times we don’t have the chance to connect and to learn from each other. WaterWise can provide a great forum for that, and I encourage our readers to get more involved. WaterWise
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
Plant Spotlight on Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ By Kim Frick, Tri-Districts If you are looking for a hardy water-wise evergreen shrub with an interesting twist, consider Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ with its feathery foliage and yellow flowers. This plant can handle temperatures down to 0 degrees and requires very little water. The bamboo-like foliage of this compact shrub would make it a great addition to a container, as an accent or in a mass planting. It is soft to the touch and could make a great addition to your shady areas.
This plant was recently named 2013 Plant of the Year at London’s Chelsea Flower Show!
Reduce water demand by 5% in 6 months ®
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
EPA Releases Report on Importance of Water to US Economy By Frank Kinder, Colorado Spring Utilities Water is vital to a productive and growing economy in the United States, directly and indirectly affecting the production of goods and services in many sectors. Current economic literature provides some insights into the importance of water to various sectors, including agriculture, tourism, fishing, manufacturing, and energy production; however, this information can be scattered and incomplete. EPA is conducting a study on the importance of water in the US economy to: • Summarize existing knowledge about the role and importance of water to the US economy, • Provide information that supports private and public sector decision-making, and
Beautiful, creative, innovative, and sustainable possibilities to imagine and implement!
• Identify areas where additional research would be useful.
• A complete step-by-step guide to reinvent front yards and improve the planet, one lawn at a time.
EPA hopes that the study will also be a catalyst for a broader discussion on the role of water in the economy and provide the information required to support efficient and effective economic decisions related to water.
• Over 800 full color inspirational photos, rich illustrations, and informative charts and graphs.
As part of the study, EPA has supported the development of a series of papers written by experts to supplement existing information and to present current economic analyses and innovations. EPA has held a technical workshop to present and discuss the agency’s literature review and the expert papers, and to solicit feedback. EPA will release a draft report that synthesizes all of this information in the coming months. The study is expected to be completed sometime in 2013. http://water.epa.gov/action/importanceofwater/
• An excellent resource to create beautiful, waterconserving front yards and gardens.
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Spring 2011 Winter 2013
Colorado WaterWise Presents to State of Colorado Water Resources Review Committee By Frank Kinder, Colorado Springs Utilities Colorado WaterWise was invited to present to the State’s Water Resources Committee on September 27th at the State Capitol. The Committee is authorized to review water issues and propose legislation related to the conservation, use, development, and financing of Colorado’s water resources. In conducting its review, the committee is required to consult with experts in the field of water conservation, quality, use, finance and development. Senator Gail Schwartz was interested in the programs and products of CWW– Best Practices Guidebook, Water Use Calculator, Landscape Ordinance Smart Phone App, etc. CWW Co-Chair Frank Kinder showcased the organization, its past, future and current efforts, and even provided a few aerators to the legislators. They inquired about indoor and outdoor conservation measures, new construction programs such as WaterSense labeled homes, and example rebates for WaterSense products. The exchange was educational and enjoyable, and WaterWise enjoyed a chance to demonstrate its value as a collaborative organization that promotes, trains, and facilitates urban water conservation in the state. To see the presentation given, click here: http://coloradowaterwise.org/Default.aspx?pageId=650193&eventId=794023&EventViewMode= EventDetails
Niagara Conservation releases Dual Flush Stealth UHET By Frank Kinder, Colorado Springs Utilities Seen at WaterSmart Innovations in Las Vegas, Niagara has released a new 0.95 full and 0.5 half GPF toilet; this product follows the success of their 0.8 GPF Stealth Toilet. This new option provides two flush choices which will provide even greater savings. Niagara is also to be commended for winning the 2013 EPA WaterSense Manufacturer of the Year award. We are excited by these and other cutting edge products that help us meet our needs while conserving as much water as possible. As we pursue conservation, the continued development of conserving products helps us achieve our goals, and demonstrates how technology pushes the limits of what many thought was not achievable. Congratulations to Niagara on this and their other products. To learn more to go: http://www.niagaraconservation.com/water_conservation/ products/toilets/detail?object=11086
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
By Natalie Stevens, City of Greeley Promoting irrigation efficiency is the cornerstone of many water conservation programs in Colorado. The City of Greeley is always working to find new and creative ways to get that message out to residents. In July, Greeley promoted The Irrigation Association’s Smart Irrigation month and was recently recognized for their efforts by receiving a Smart Marketing Award. Below are five elements of Greeley’s winning campaign. 1. The City of Greeley City Council designated July as Smart Irrigation Month. This proclamation was made at the first City Council meeting in July. Water conservation staff were on hand at the meeting and said a few words about the campaign and Greeley’s commitment to efficient irrigation. 2. Greeley had a Smart Irrigation Month. When residents received an irrigation audit in July they were entered into a contest. Three residential customers were awarded retrofits. The winners were determined by the audit recommendations. The prizes were as follows: 1st Place 1 new ET controller 1 new pressure regulating valve Rotary nozzles per audit recommendations Approximate product value not to exceed $750
2nd Place 1 new ET controller 1 new pressure regulating valve Approximate product value not to exceed $500
3rd Place 1 new ET controller Approximate product value not to exceed $350
3. News releases were sent to the media on Smart Irrigation Month. The local media wrote several stories about Smart Irrigation Month and what Greeley did to recognize it. 4. Greeley has an informational water budget to let customers know when they are using more water than is needed. Those customers who exceeded their budgets in June received postcards with a Smart Irrigation message and tips to reduce water use. 5. The City of Greeley has a dynamic social media presence in the area of water conservation. This includes a monthly e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter. Each of these channels had an efficient lawn watering and Smart Irrigation Month message throughout the month of July. To learn more about Greeley’s Water Conservation program, visit www.greeleygov.com/wc. To get regular updates, follow Greeley Water on social media www.facebook.com/greeleywater or www.twitter.com/greeleywater. WaterWise
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
Value of Water Project Update By Alyssa Quinn, Platte Canyon Water & Sanitation The idea of creating a Value of Water Campaign was initiated before Colorado WaterWise developed the Best Practices Guidebook. Since its inception, the Value of Water Campaign was merged with Colorado Water 2012 and then split back out again. With the guidance of a stakeholder committee, it was decided that the campaign would morph into a tool kit. Colorado WaterWise is pleased to announce that the Value of Water is no longer on the back burner and will be a project for 2014. Sustainable management and protection of our water is fundamental to a positive future for Colorado. This project will develop a toolkit to better communicate that water is a limited resource in our semi-arid climate and its protection, conservation, and investment in are essential to support the quality of life and economic prosperity of all Coloradans. The development of a Value of Coloradoâ€™s Water Toolkit is to provide Colorado WaterWise partners with educational materials that can be shared and promoted with their customers to raise awareness on the importance of water in Colorado. The goal is to provide educational information to partners to enlighten Coloradans and aid in changing the publicâ€™s perceptions and attitudes toward water. The Toolkit is intended to be educational and informative. All materials created in the series will have a co-branding option to address the individual needs of our diverse Colorado communities. It will convey that water is important and seek to connect Coloradans to this precious resource. Colorado WaterWise feels that it is crucial for stakeholders to be closely involved in the Toolkit development to make it widely useful to organizations across the State. Currently, Colorado WaterWise is seeking sponsorship to help kick the project off. The goal is to raise $40,000 dollars to begin the project and develop the Toolkit to be implemented by December 2014. Sponsorship levels can be customized. If you are interested in sponsoring the project please contact either Brenda Oâ€™Brien at brenda.obrien@ comcast.net or Alyssa Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org. All sponsorship information along with the full scope of work is provided on the Colorado WaterWise website at www.coloradowaterwise.org.
Benefits of Sponsorship
Recommended Sponsor Levels* Advertisement in Colorado WaterWise Newsletter in 2014 Acknowledgement in Colorado WaterWise Newsletter in 2014 Access to Toolkit Materials on Website Company Logo on Colorado WaterWise Website in 2014 Flash Drive with Toolkit Materials
Watershed Sponsor $10,000
River Sponsor $5,000
Stream Sponsor S1,000
Spring Sponsor $500
Winter 2013 Spring 2011
Colorado Waterwise Provides the Answers By Lisa Sigler, APR, Sigler Communications
As Colorado embarks on its State Water Plan, water leaders and interested stakeholders are grappling with how we make sure there is enough water to go around. The SWSI study reported a massive gap between supply and demand and additional concerns over climate change has everyone nervous about our future water supplies. After listening to a stellar line of speakers at this yearâ€™s Colorado Waterwise Conservation Summit, I left thinking if all of these solutions were implemented we would probably take a pretty big dent out of that gap. Speakers addressed issues that included how we incorporate Coloradoâ€™s new graywater bill into new building codes and requirements, allowing consumers to use water flowing down their bathroom sink and from their washing machines to water their lawns. Tom Ash, Western Municipal Water District, spoke about the concept of water budgeting that has been widely embraced by California, a state that knows growth and lack of supply all too well. According to Ash, enacting water budgeting helps utilities surpass conservation goals, maintain a steady revenue stream and get their boards and city councils elected every year because the public is so pleased with the concept. It makes you wonder what we are waiting for in Colorado. Another concept, presented by the City of Westminster, outlined how they conducted a study that quantified the financial value of water conservation to their customers. The city examined how much they would have had to invest in water infrastructure and supply if their customers were still using 1980 levels. They found that conservation has saved customers a considerable sum of money in the long run and that helped elected officials justify water conservation to customers. The conference concluded with Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Mike King talking about the State Water Plan and how the state will approach this important undertaking. It was an appropriate end to a conference that laid out many of the solutions. Lisa Sigler, president of Sigler Communications, counsels utilities and others on water related issues. Her firm works on the Southern Delivery System, Northern Integrated Supply Project, as well as the landscape industry on water education and outreach.
Congratulations Tracy Bouvette
As part of the Conservation Summit 2011, Colorado WaterWise started recognizing people who have made outstanding accomplishments in water conservation in Colorado. This yearâ€™s recipient was Tracy Bouvette, Executive Director of Great Western Institute. Tracy has been involved with water conservation planning and resource creation for many years. At the helm of GWI, he developed many tools and informed policies for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. He developed the first guidance documents and guidelines for conservation planning in Colorado. He also traveled the state holding workshops on conservation planning. Most recently, he worked with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District to develop a regional conservation plan and Water Conservation Best Management Practices Toolkit. Tracy has decided to close the doors at GWI and move back home to the East Coast. He will be missed. Tracy donated the assets left from GWI to Colorado WaterWise to continue on with our joint conservation mission. We are grateful and will use this donation as seed money to fund both the Smart Phone App for the Green Industry and the Value of Water Toolbox.
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
Fall 2013 Spring 2011
Conservation Synergy: The Case for Integrating Water and Energy Efficiency Programs By Amelia Nuding, Western Resource Advocates The nexus between water, electricity, and natural gas has been understood for several years, yet only a handful of utilities have fully capitalized on this knowledge by combining their efficiency programs. There are many interconnections between water, electricity, and natural gas: Significant amounts of water are used for cooling during electricity generation, and significant amounts of electricity and natural gas are used to pump, treat, and heat water for use in homes and businesses. Thus, when one resource is conserved, so is another. Utilities can, and should, leverage this relationship to their advantage by integrating their efficiency programs. Conservation Synergy: The Case for Integrating Water and Energy Efficiency Programs is a new report by Western Resource Advocates that articulates the reasons for, and the pathways by which, utilities can achieve a conservation synergy. Joint efficiency programs have the potential to help meet the needs for efficiency at reduced cost. Utilities that have collaborated have overwhelmingly found such programs to be a good business decision. The benefits are manifold: higher participation rates, increased customer satisfaction, coordinated and complementary program design, and an improved reputation from working smarterâ€”not harder. The costs are few, stemming primarily from the initial investment of time, and the risks are minimal. Examples of collaborative programs profiled in this report include joint rebates, audits, and building efficiency upgrades. The process of collaboration is presented in four steps, having been distilled from research and interviews. Also highlighted is an informational pamphlet about saving water and energy that can be adopted at no cost by utilities and distributed to customers. Based on interviews and research, it is clear that collaborators view joint efficiency programs as a worthwhile investment and they value the opportunity to establish long-term partnerships. An inter-utility partnershipâ€”a conservation synergyâ€”presents an excellent business opportunity that should be considered by all utilities. http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org/conservationsynergy.php
Spring 2011 Winter 2013
Washed Out: Denver Water Recovers from Floods By Ann Baker, Denver Water The first night it started flooding, the caretakers at Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir climbed the hill and stayed awake most of the night, watching Advent Creek swarm their houses and office. They tried to sleep the second night, “but we were too busy watching that garage door — that was our gauge for the water level,” said caretaker Steve Bauman. When one of the worst storms in Colorado history submerged the Front Range in mid-September, it tore through the northern part of Denver Water’s collection system, forcing two treatment plants off-line, reservoirs to swell and access roads to break in half. The storm bumped up water storage six percentage points; the largest September increase in our current supply system’s history. And so much rain water slid into Ralston Reservoir after operators turned off the South Boulder Canal — the channel that sends water to the reservoir — that water tumbled over the dam’s emergency spillway for the first time in the reservoir’s 76-year history. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Delbert Brooks, Ralston caretaker. “I’ve never seen this much rain that lasted this long and did this kind of damage.” During the three days of the storm, six Denver Water employees worked in shifts around the clock, watching for problems around the ditches, canals and siphons that connect Gross Reservoir to Ralston Reservoir, as well as along the Clear Creek Canal from Ralston to Golden. The inflow and outflow gauges at Ralston failed, dirt covering Siphon 5 sloughed off, and entire hillsides piled into the concrete-lined canal. In the weeks after the storm, a Denver Water crew helped a dozen or so fellow employees rebuild access roads and install washed-out culvert pipes. There will be months left of repair; crews need to repair Ralston’s emergency spillway, the sediment piled in the South Boulder Canal needs to be removed, and giant boulders restrained like a hairnet in a massive chain link fence need to be relocated. Roads need to be regraded, and the gauge houses at Ralston likely need to be rebuilt. So far, September’s flooding caused unprecedented destruction to Denver Water’s facilities at Gross and Ralston reservoirs resulting in more than $10 million in damages. But really, Denver Water fared well compared to other Front Range cities that were swept away or cut in two by the floods. Denver Water is rebuilding and regrading private roads in communities in Coal Creek Canyon, which neighbors Gross Reservoir. And Denver Water staff has already coordinated with the Office of the State Engineer regarding dam safety concerns around the state. As water recedes and damage is assessed, Denver Water’s technical staff and crews may be asked to assist other entities with inspections, along with system startups and testing, said Bob Mahoney, Director of Engineering. In the meantime, Denver Water crews will focus on clearing our roads and accessing our facilities; unplanned projects for sure, but nothing to complain about. “It’s what we’re here for,” shrugged Tony Stengel, assistant foreman of Denver Water’s South Boulder District. “We don’t have it bad at all. A lot of people are in much worse shape than we are.” WaterWise
Winter2011 2013 Spring
Updates By Laurie D’Audney, Fort Collins Utilities
www.awwa.org • Elizabeth Barriga, City of Gallup, NM, was the winner of the RMSAWWA 2013 Alice Darilek Water Conservation award. She is active with the New Mexico Water Conservation Alliance. • AWWA’s new Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standard is available to measure how your utility demonstrates best management practices. • AWWA has released a new tool, A Guide to Customer Water-Use Indicators for Conservation and Financial Planning, available only to members. • Registration is open for the Sustainable Water Management Conference to be held in Denver from March 30--April 2, 2014.
Water Smart Innovations Conference
(www.watersmartinnovations. com) • January 17, 2014 is the deadline for submitting abstracts for the 2014 Water Smart Innovations Conference to be held October 8-10 in Las Vegas.
Irrigation Association www.irrigation.org
• Revised Irrigation BMPs are available for comment until Dec. 10 at www.irrigation.org/ Resources/Turf___Landscape_ BMPs.aspx#!. • City of Greeley was recognized at the IA Conference in Austin for Smart Irrigation Month Marketing.
Xeriscape Council of New Mexico www.xeriscapenm.com
• Registration is open for the Land & Water Summit to be held in Albuquerque on February 20-21, 2014. The theme is Drought as an Opportunity for Change.
US EPA WaterSense (www.water.epa.gov/ watersense)
• Two Colorado cities received 2013 WaterSense partner awards. The City of Boulder was awarded the Excellence in Promoting Water Sense Labeled Products and Colorado Springs Utilities won the Excellence in Strategic Collaboration award. Congratulations to both! • WaterSense is hosting Fix a Leak Week, March 17-23, 2014 to raise 17
awareness about the importance of eliminating household leaks. Partners are encouraged to incorporate the “Chasing Leaks” theme in their communities by considering organizing a running race. • EPA has released a new report, The Importance of Water to the US Economy. It concentrates on raising awareness of the value of water and its economic impact. Find it at http://water.epa.gov/ action/importanceofwater/upload/ Importance-of-Water-SynthesisReport.pdf#!
Value of Water Coalition http://thevalueofwater.org
• A new national campaign aims to educate the public on the importance of clean, safe and reliable water now and into the future.
Colorado State University www.colostate.edu
• CSU is offering a free online course, Water, People and Nature: Addressing 21st Century Global Challenges from January 27--March 23, 2014. More information at www.online.colostate.edu/ free-online-courses/watercivilization-and-nature/?utm_ source=onlineplus&utm_ medium=email&utm_campaign=1mooc-131104-e-onlineplus. Winter 2013 Spring 2011
Colorado WaterWise publishes a newsletter each quarter to update members and others interested in conservation on statewide water conservati...