According to Colorado’s Water Conservation Act of 2004
, all covered entities – retail water providers who sell 2,000 acre feet or more of water annually – must have a water efficiency plan on file with the state that has been approved by the CWCB. Each plan must include the minimum required plan elements as outlined in the Act.
The CWCB provides technical assistance as well as grant money
to covered entities seeking to develop or update water conservation plans.
What to Consider When Developing a Water Efficiency Plan
The CWCB’s Office of Water Conservation and Drought Planning (OWCDP) has developed a comprehensive Municipal Water Efficiency Plan Guidance Document as well as the Guidelines for the Office to Review and Evaluate Water Conservation Plans
. All water efficiency plans submitted to the CWCB for approval will be reviewed for compliance with the Guidelines.
Based on several key water efficiency literature sources and the extensive experience of many water conservation professionals, the CWCB has established five planning steps to facilitate effective conservation planning. Implementation of these five steps will likely be varied for the many different covered entities across Colorado that are planning for meaningful water efficiency.
The five steps are
- Step 1: Profile of Existing Water Supply System – Collection and development of supply-side information and historical supply-side water efficiency activities.
- Step 2: Profile of Water Demands and Historical Demand Management – Collection and development of demand data and historical demand management activities.
- Step 3: Integrated Planning and Water Efficiency Benefits and Goals – Identification of how water efficiency will be incorporated into future water supply planning efforts and development of water efficiency benefits and goals.
- Step 4: Selection of Water Efficiency Activities – Assessment, identification, screening, and evaluation process to select and fully evaluate a portfolio of water efficiency activities for implementation.
- Step 5: Implementation and Monitoring Plans – Development of an implementation and monitoring plan.
Through implementation of the five steps, current water use and future demands can be analyzed, needs for infrastructure and facilities can be assessed and future water supply options can be identified. By utilizing the process outlined in the Municipal Water Efficiency Plan Guidance Document
, water efficiency planning can be integrated with water supply planning to create a more holistic approach to planning.