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Case studies

Boulder Water Utility

Due to its location in a semi-arid region, the city of Boulder faced both severe flooding and severe drought. To manage floodwaters and improve water supply and quality, the city built greenways and developed a comprehensive conservation plan for unusually dry seasons. In addition to addressing its local water challenges, Boulder’s creative strategy has also allowed it to realize multiple benefits including open space, new recreational opportunities and public education better connecting the community to nature.

Project at a Glance

Utility Overview

  • Utility: Boulder Water Utility
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado
  • Population served: 107,125
  • Service area: 25.7 square miles

Challenges

  • Drought
  • Flooding

Solutions

  • Comprehensive water conservation programs
    using localized, community-based strategies
    such as fixture rebates, new water budget rate
    structures, and a system of greenway corridors to
    manage flood waters.

Costs and Funding Sources

  • Total conservation budget: $350,000
    • Utility Operating budget: $60,000
    • Partnership contracts: $290,000
  • Total greenways budget (excluding the costs of
    the flood conveyance structures): $2,652,202

    • Annual Operating budget: $80,000
    • Annual Capital budget: $320,000
  • Funding sources:
    • Utility operating budget (conservation & greenways
      programs)
    • Transportation Fund, Flood Control Fund, and the
      Lottery Fund (greenways capital spending)</li

Project Benefits

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Enhances administrative efficiencies
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Creates community partnerships
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Boosts resilience in the face of droughts and climate change
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Residential indoor and outdoor water savings averaging 5,000 gallons per household per year
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Outdoor irrigation consultations saving an average of 5,000 gallons per household in the first year following the consult
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Commercial savings of ~7 million gallons per year
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