Partnership is Key to Dynamic Water Resource Management


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Dale Leach | Fort Collins-Loveland Water District

In Northern Colorado, we intimately understand the importance of one of our most precious resources: water. We know the feeling of relief from a good snowpack report just as well as the growing anxiety from a dry spring season. Whether you live in Bellvue or Berthoud, Wellington, or Westminster, your dependence on access to clean water is shared. Water is fundamental to the health and economic prosperity of our growing region and its residents.

In this spirit, we at the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District (FCLWD) see water resource management as the complex system it truly is, with many stakeholders participating in this system of utility and stewardship. The core mission of the FCLWD is to provide our customers with the highest-quality water as economically as possible, but we acknowledge that our many partners and neighbors are also acting in the interests of their core missions and customers. Thus, we have made it a priority to foster cooperation in an effort to maximize our shared resources.

The FCLWD has a positive outlook on the future of water access in our District. Much of this is due to our shares of the Colorado-Big Thompson project as well as our ownership of river water rights. But our responsible approach to growth—“Growth Pays Its Own Way” is our guiding principle—also plays a major role in providing clean, economical water. However, this would not be possible without strong cooperation and trusted collaboration between the District and our partners.

Dale Leach

Availability of water is a primary focus for the District and an area that we see as ripe for optimization. Availability is dependent on the quality of water, the quantity of water, and the location of water. By working with our partners on the supply side, we seek to identify new opportunities to unlock available water when and where it’s needed most for maximum efficiency and minimal waste.

An example of such cooperation occurred this spring when the president of Divide Canal (a water supplier) was able to coordinate deliveries with FCLWD’s water resource manager to align the interests of Divide and the FCLWD. Together, we created a dynamic approach to water distribution that helped fill reserves, serve customers and preserve water for future use. This partnership is a testament to the potential collaboration that can be built between entities such as the Colorado ditch companies and utility companies. This is the type of collaboration the FCLWD is hoping to encourage throughout our many partners and throughout the entire water resource management system as a whole.

Water is a natural resource and nature is unpredictable. Dynamic approaches to water resource management are key to maximizing its use.

While we continue to work within our District to lessen the growing cost of water, we realize that collaboration with partners is a crucial aspect to smart water resource management. By working together, we can better meet the needs of our customers and ensure continued prosperity throughout the region.