U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- Denver Water has laid out a $400 million plan
aimed at slashing customers' annual water use by 22 percent over the
next 10 years.
The utility drafted the plan in hopes of reducing annual
consumption by 16.7 billion gallons by 2016. It is to be presented to
the utility's board in August.
"Our system is able to meet our current needs, but in the future,
it's going to take more supply, more conservation -- or both -- to be
able to provide for a rapidly urbanizing Front Range," said Denver
Water Commissioner Tom Gougeon.
The plan would step up existing conservation programs, such as
homeowner rebates on low-flow toilets, but also launch new measures.
One proposal would require builders to meet certain standards for
water efficiency before the utility would hook up a new home to the
Another would require audits of existing homes before they are
sold and requiring the replacement of leaky fixtures. The plan also
suggests requiring low-flow urinals in new commercial buildings.
Municipal and commercial customers might have to add irrigation
water meters and remove park lawns.
Real estate agents and homebuilders said they wanted to hear more
on the developing proposal before judging it.
Some of the proposals could require local governments to adopt new
ordinances, said Liz Gardener, the utility's conservation program
Gougeon said water officials are trying to build on momentum from
the lingering drought, which has encouraged customers to conserve.
Since 2002, Denver Water's 1.1 million customers have cut their
annual consumption by about 20 percent, to 64 billion gallons last
Customers might have to pay for half of the $400 million
conservation plan, but utility officials said they would earn that
back in water savings within six years.
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