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Castle Pines Metropolitan District completes Water Conservation Plan

by Terri Wiebold with information provided by Emily Coll, Castle Pines Metropolitan District

Castle Pines Metropolitan District completes Water Conservation Plan
Village residents support conservation

The Castle Pines Metropolitan District (Metro), a quasi-governmental Special District under Colorado law, was established in 1973 for the purpose of providing water, wastewater collection, storm drainage services, and operation and maintenance of street improvements to the Castle Pines Village (Village) community. Metro is governed by a five-member Board of Directors who are Village residents and who are elected by the community to serve four-year terms.

The Village Board of Directors approved a Water Conservation Plan (WCP) in mid October, and has now submitted the plan to the Colorado Conservation Board for review.

The purpose of the plan is to provide a workable framework to accomplish three goals: to lower Village peak day water demand by as much as twenty percent, to reduce irrigation consumption by up to twenty percent, and to provide a document assuring government and industry partners that the Village is committed to conserve the Denver Basin groundwater currently owned and those renewable surface waters which may be acquired in the future.


Castle Pines Village is an unincorporated community encompassing approximately 2,563 acres in Douglas County. Currently, the Village has roughly1,500 homes with an average lot size of .93 acres, a lot size significantly larger than surrounding communities. At full build-out, the Village will have approximately 1,800 homes. In addition, the Village includes several recreational areas, considerable open space, and limited commercial property for the benefit of its residents.

Current Water Supplies

Metro currently relies wholly on groundwater pumped from four distinct aquifers of the Denver Basin to serve the community. The Denver Basin supply serves communities from Greeley in the north to Colorado Springs in the south and from the Front Range in the west to Limon in the east. Thus, this finite supply must be shared by many and protected by all.

The only exception to the Village’s reliance on groundwater is that the two Village golf courses utilize effluent water from the Plum Creek Waste Water facility for irrigation, and are thus doing their part in conserving the finite groundwater supply and keeping infrastructure costs down.

To supplement the groundwater supply, Metro is actively seeking to acquire renewable water to provide a more sustainable supply. According to the WCP, it is Metro’s objective that renewable water will ultimately account for seventy-five percent or more of the total water consumption by 2020.

Water Demand

Village usage is billed to consumers in gallons. Billable gallons in the past several years have risen dramatically. Some of the increase is the result of the continued build-out of the Village, and this build-out is not yet complete. What may be unique to the Village because of the larger acreage per home, is that almost seventy percent of the Village water consumption is for irrigation purposes, virtually all of which occurs during the seven month period of April through October.

On a per home basis, the average home uses 5,000 to 6,000 gallons per month in non-irrigation months. In irrigation months, the average balloons to 30,000 to 40,000 gallons per month. Although these monthly gallons by themselves are huge; it is even more pronounced when one considers that peak day demand is even greater. Infrastructure, which is costly, must be adequate to meet this peak day demand and not just the average demand for the month.

Looking Toward the Future

Metro recently revised a Long Range Master Plan (LRMP) with the assistance of outside engineering and water consultants. The plan estimates that, without further conservation, Metro will be forced to spend approximately $43.7 million (2008 dollars) over the next 40 years. With approximately 1,800 homes at build-out, the cost can be viewed as the equivalent of approximately $20,000 to $25,000 per home, a huge amount per unit for any community.

In a combination of revenue neutral pricing incentives and high visibility outdoor rebate programs, Metro has developed a comprehensive program that will reduce irrigation consumption by up to twenty percent by 2020.

To learn more about Metro’s water conservation efforts or to view the WCP, call Emily Coll at 303-688-8330 or go to



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