Creating a Sustainable Future for Fort Collins#
Fort Collins is using a smart, multi-faceted approach to water supply through conservation and future planning.
Water conservation is extremely important. Our customers are encouraged to conserve water by creating water-wise landscapes and replacing appliances and fixtures with high-efficiency models, among other strategies.
Fort Collins residents have risen to the challenge and have reduced per-person water use by 35% since 2000. In 2017, all of our customers used less water than in 1985. Quite an accomplishment considering the Fort Collins Utilities service area population has increased by more than 50% since then.
Even with outstanding conservation efforts, Fort Collins Utilities' customers are vulnerable to reductions in water availability and delivery, and conservation alone doesn’t replace the need for the Halligan Water Supply Project.
This project will provide added protection for our customers from future uncertainties and emergencies that can impact our water supply at any time – prolonged drought, fires, floods, landslides and infrastructure issues (maintenance and failures), as well as uncertainty around climate change. These events could compromise our water supply even with increased conservation and water restrictions.
Water conservation helps ensure wise use of available water, especially during dry, hot summer months when little moisture is available naturally. In recent dry years, this conservation has allowed the City of Fort Collins to keep more water in storage for the coming years and avoid water restrictions when possible. Although conservation helps keep water in storage, our total storage capacity is limited by our existing infrastructure, and all the water we conserve cannot be carried over from year to year.
At this time, we have more water rights than we have the ability to store, so all that water conserved by our customers passes to downstream communities. With the Halligan Water Supply Project, some water can be provided to the river for habitat improvement while water is retained for future water needs.