Skip to main content



The Fort Collins City Council adopted the updated Water Supply and Demand Management Policy (PDF 91KB) in November 2012. The policy states, "The reliability and capacity of the City's water supply system should be maintained to meet the planning level demand during at least a 1-in-50 drought event in the Cache la Poudre River Basin."

Fort Collins Utilities defines a drought as below-average runoff from the Cache la Poudre River. Droughts are measured by:

  • Duration (or run length)
  • Cumulative deficit below the average
  • Average annual water shortage

Through statistical analysis, City officials determined the worst drought that could occur every 50 years in the region. This is called a "design drought". The Fort Collins Utilities staff uses the "design drought" to determine Fort Collins' current and future water supply needs. This "design drought":

  • Lasts six years
  • Has a run-off that is 550,000 acre-feet below average
  • Has annual river volumes about 70% of the Poudre River's long-term average

Fort Collins Drought History
The graph below shows annual virgin (or native) flows of the Poudre River since 1884. Flows vary significantly from year to year. The green line on the graph denotes the long-term average. Click the image for a larger version.

Click 'Account Login' above to access online bill pay.

Tip #153

Change your hot tub setting to "economy mode".

More Tips

Fort Collins Utilities Non-Discrimination Statement

Fort Collins Utilities is an equal opportunity residential and commercial utility service provider. We do not discriminate in the terms, conditions or provision of services based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin.

Fort Collins Utilities es una empresa proveedora de servicios públicos residenciales y comerciales con igualdad de oportunidad. No discriminamos en los términos, las condiciones o la provisión de servicios en base a raza, color, religión, sexo, discapacidad, estatus familiar o nacionalidad de origen.