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Water Adequacy Code Updates#


The City of Fort Collins is in the process of creating and adopting updated requirements related to the determination of water adequacy for new development projects.

“Water adequacy” means that a new development has shown it has access to water resources to serve the project.

Although the City already requires proof that new developments have secured water sources, these updates will further outline this process as part of development review. The updates are also necessary as developers have proposed non-traditional ways of securing water resources for new projects.

On September 19, 2023 City Council adopted new water adequacy determination regulations. Click the link below to view the water adequacy determination regulations.

View Water Adequacy Code

What is the purpose of these updates?#

Water is a crucial and constrained resource, and the City strives to ensure that development meets the community’s vision and expectations for responsible resource management. City Plan includes policies to ensure water is used wisely and our community is prepared for a changing climate. Currently, development within the City only occurs within the boundaries of existing City (Fort Collins Utilities) and Special District water providers, such as the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District and the East Larimer County Water District. A project is determined to have an adequate water supply through the issuance of a “will serve” letter from the established water provider at the time of development plan or building permit approval.

The necessity for an updated water adequacy review program stems from the limited supply and high cost of water resources, which have resulted in developers pursuing more creative ways to provide water to their proposed developments, particularly projects striving to provide affordable housing or the denser development patterns called for in City Plan.

Examples of new ways of obtaining water include use of ground water or potentially reusing grey water in the future.

The water adequacy determination review process for new providers will look at evaluation criteria, review timing and decision-making authority. A "new provider" is a water provider unassociated with any existing established district, a metro district, or special district.

This review process is being proposed to further effectuate a Colorado state statute (Section 29-20-301-306, C.R.S.).

For this regulation, the Colorado state statute defines some key terms, including:

  • "Adequate" - means "a water supply that will be sufficient for build-out of the proposed development in terms of quality, quantity, dependability, and availability to provide a supply of water for the type of development proposed and may include reasonable conservation measures and water demand management measures to account for hydrologic variability.
  • "Water supply entity" means "a municipality, county, special district, water conservancy district, water conservation district, water authority, or other public or private water supply company that supplies, distributes, or otherwise provides water at retail."

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