Case studies


Greeley, Colorado, sits between the South Platte and the Cache La Poudre Rivers, about 60 miles north of Denver, and is home to just over 100,000 people. Similar to other Front Range communities located in the high desert, Greeley enjoys an average of 244 sunny days per year and receives 15 inches of rain and 40 inches of snow annually. Because of its semi-arid climate, Greeley has a long history of water conservation, dating back to 1907, and currently has one of the largest water conservation programs in Colorado. In recent years, the City has added measures, such as water budgets and rebates, to expand on this long standing tradition of water conservation.

Project at a Glance

Utility Overview

  • Utility: Greeley Water and Sewer Department
  • Location: Greeley, Colorado
  • Population served: 149,512
  • Service area: 99 square miles


  • Aging infrastructure
  • Changing State and Federal regulations
  • Change in demand
  • Climate change & ongoing drought
  • Wildfires


  • A multi-pronged approach to addressing challenges to its water supply, by (1) creating household water budgets to help residents reduce their water use; (2) performing water audits on homes to assure residents are using their water efficiently and within their budget; (3) educating residents on the best ways to conserve water; and (4) providing rebates for water efficient fixtures and replacing their lawns with more water efficient landscape to further incentivize wise water use.

Program costs and funding source

  • Total project cost:
    • Overall Conservation Budget: ~$740,000 (as of 2022)
      • Indoor Audits: $7,000 (annual average; $150/outdoor audit)
      • Irrigation Audits: $39,000 (annual average; $55/indoor audit)
      • Rebates (as of 2022): $50,000
      • Life After Lawn ~$150,000 per year from 2022-2026
  • Funding sources: Water rates

Benefits of Greeley's Conservation Programs

Reduced water usage by 20% even as the City’s population has grown
Residents are better informed about their water usage
87% of single-family homes stayed within their water budget in 2020
Residents save money because of more efficient fixtures and reduced water usage

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