Rural Water Authority working on behalf Douglas County well users
by Elizabeth Wood West
The Rural Water Authority of Douglas County (RWADC) represents almost 30,000 people, nearly 12 percent of Douglas County’s total population, who are served by more than 8,000 ground water wells. Founded in 2008, its mission is to “assist rural water users and providers to evaluate current and future water supplies and demand; determine services and/or facilities that are of benefit to them; and advise and assist other agencies on rural water issues.”
RWADC’s members are individual private well owners and small water service providers (five hundred water taps or fewer) that are included in RWADC’s service area. The service area is all of unincorporated Douglas County, excluding land within the boundaries of special districts that provide water service and are not participants of the RWADC.
This year, the RWADC secured a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to contract with the U.S. Geological Survey to begin monitoring about 30 wells in rural parts of Douglas County. The monitoring will be conducted for two or more years and will measure changes to water levels in the wells.
The RWADC also entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Douglas County, South Metro Water Supply Authority, and the Douglas County Water Resource Authority to jointly direct another CWCB grant to study the feasibility of building a regional water system in northern Douglas and south-central Arapahoe counties, which would distribute a sustainable source of water supply.
These efforts complement a much larger initiative that many regional water experts are watching closely. According to RWADC District 1 Director Geoff Withers, the “Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency” (WISE) partnership is a cooperative effort between South Metro Water Supply Authority, Denver Water, and Aurora Water. It aims to utilize existing excess system capacities, maximize existing water supplies, cooperate on agricultural water acquisitions, and share infrastructure and water that will promote conservation through re-use.
Withers added, “A final agreement has not yet been reached, but we understand that one is expected by the first of next year . They are including the RWADC in this effort, as a voice for the rural areas of Douglas County, so that all of Douglas County might benefit from this effort,” said Withers.
The RWADC Board of Directors meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Philip S. Miller County Administration Building, 100 Third Street in Castle Rock, in Conference Rooms A & B – first floor.
For more information about the RWADC, visit www.rwadc.org or call 303-482-1002.