Roaring Fork Conservancy is excited to partner with the Community Office for Resource Efficiency and the Ruedi Water and Power Authority to promote water efficiency throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. This program is designed to grab people’s attention, inform the public, and empower citizens to take action in and around their homes and communities. Decreasing municipal water use can increase resource efficiency through decreasing water and wastewater-treatment as well as potentially increasing in-stream flows on critical stretches of our local streams and rivers.
Regional Water Efficiency Planning
From 2013-2015, Roaring Fork Conservancy (RFC) partnered with the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), Ruedi Water and Power Authority (RWAPA) and local municipalities to develop a Water Efficiency Plan for the Roaring Fork watershed. This project grew out of the concerns raised during the drought year of 2012 and the State of Colorado water planning process that demonstrated the need for the efficient use of water state-wide. In addition, regional planning for water conservation was one of the recommendations and goals of the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan (2011-12).
The Regional Efficiency Plan’s total cost of nearly $125,000 was funded by a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) with matching funds provided by the cities of Glenwood Springs and Aspen and the Towns of Carbondale, Basalt and Snowmass Village. RFC, RWAPA, and the consulting team of Element Water Consulting and Water DM held many meetings, contacted hundreds of individuals and made dozens of presentations to local officials and interested citizens over the course of a 20-month planning process. The individual municipal plans and the Regional Plan were all adopted by the municipal partners in late 2015.
The Plan consists of individual water efficiency plans for the respective municipal partners and a regional plan which takes the elements common to all five individual plans and applies them watershed-wide. Some of the recommended actions include regional education programs, efforts to involve landscape professionals, hotels and major water users in water conservation programs, and a more centralized and coordinated structure to take responsibility for meeting Plan goals. Many of the individual plan actions are already in progress while Regional Plan recommendations are being refined and implemented as opportunities arise.
The Regional Planning process was a valuable public exercise that significantly increased awareness of water efficiency and defined conservation issues and strategies. In the coming years, RFC and its partners will work to expand the reach of the Regional Water Efficiency Plan to include local water districts and rural providers, the agricultural community, and interested businesses and individuals.