By Celine Hundt
The development of an Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) for the Castle Pines North (CPN) area has been in progress for more than a year.
On August 29, the CPN Metro District held a fourth IWRP public meeting at the CPN Community Center. The IWRP outlined a number of strategies and options for CPN to obtain alternative, long-term, renewable sources of water. The findings were presented by both Metro District board members and consultants from Camp, Dresser, and McKee (CDM) and Applegate, who were chartered with developing an IWRP for CPN.
The need for an IWRP is driven by the fact that CPN’s existing ground water supply is non-renewable. While it is estimated that the current ground water supply could potentially fulfill the needs of the community for at least two decades, there are certain considerations that render it timely for the District to take active measures now to obtain alternative sources of water such as:
As CPN and the surrounding communities such as Castle Rock, Castle Pines Metro (Castle Pines Village), Centennial, and Parker pump water out of the aquifers, the pressure drops in the aquifers and wells produce less and less water.
Throughout Colorado, a rising population is driving the overall demand for water. Within CPN, growth has also increased from about 600 residences in 1998, to about 3100 in 2006. As the state’s population increases, the demand for water will unquestionably drive up the cost of obtaining renewable water sources in the future.
Conservation efforts have been effective in keeping usage in check, but they are insufficient to meet the long-term demand for water.
Bedrock groundwater is a good interim and back-up supply, but not a reliable long-term source of water.
Any strategy for long-term water acquisition must include the element of water storage to offset the negative impact of drought years.
It is necessary to start now, not twenty years from now, to acquire water rights and build strategic and cost-effective alliances with water providers and users.
The success of any strategy to obtain renewable water will have to address the specific areas of water treatment, water transport, water storage and the acquisition of water rights. According to CDM, the acquisition of water rights is perhaps the most pressing element requiring action. Additionally, partnerships are being formed now to build storage, construct transmission pipelines, and acquire large blocks of water.
None of these projects are built overnight. They require years of planning , permitting, and construction. Rueter Hess Reservoir, for example, was conceived of nearly 20 years ago and the the first phase of construction did not begin until 2005.
CDM determined that the optimum solution for CPN would combine a number of factors including: the acquisition of renewable sources of water, the conservation of water, the reuse of water, and the continued utilization of existing groundwater supplies. Potential sources of water were identified as the Upper South Platte, Middle South Platte River and the West Slope.
By acting now to develop an Integrated Water Resources Plan, the District is proactively ensuring the sustainability and reliability of CPN’s water system. Having a renewable and long-term sustainable source of water secures and enhances property values in the community, and protects the quality of life in CPN.
The IWRP presentation delivered at the meeting can be viewed in full on the Castle Pines North Metro District website at www.cpnmd.org.
For more information about the IWRP, please contact Metro District Manager James McGrady at 303-688-8550 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.