Water Resources Strategic Master Plan
The respondents tended to support all of the efforts outlined in the plan, and were generally aware of the water issues facing Castle Rock. Respondents felt moderate conservation efforts were valid. There was also strong support for reuse. The attitude of the respondents regarding how Castle Rock Water is managing water was positive, but not strong. An open-ended comment section was provided and many respondents expressed concern about growth and offered suggestions on how to better manage water supply - all of these suggestions are already in place. General results are listed below along with the respondents comments.
Summary of results of the survey
Awareness- 75.3 percent are somewhat or very aware of water issues facing the future of Castle Rock and the surrounding areas.
Conservation- 45 percent feel moderate conservation efforts should be taken, with 16 percent believing minimal efforts and 16 percent requesting more extensive efforts should be taken toward conservation.
Import- 79 percent support purchasing and importing renewable water to supplement the Town's water resources.
Reuse- 65.2 percent somewhat or strongly support reuse with only 3 percent strongly opposing.
Partnerships- 52.1 percent are familiar with Castle Rock Water's partnerships.
Storage- 72.5 percent somewhat or strongly support acquiring additional storage.
Financial plan- 40.5 percent are somewhat or strongly confident in the financial plan, with 22 percent neutral and 31.9 percent not very
or not at all confident.
Best option- Water reuse / recycling was identified as the best option for future water with 36.2 percent of the responses. Storing water was the second preferred option at 30.4 percent.
Long-term water- 53.5 percent of respondents are somewhat or very concerned about water supply but felt Castle Rock Water is on the right path.
Water Resources plan- 50.7 percent were somewhat or very confident in the plan that Castle Rock Water has developed.
Residency- 44.9 percent of the respondents have lived in Castle Rock greater than 10 years and 34.8 percent have lived here less than four years.
View graphs of the survey results.
- Analysis of and adjustments for commercial properties, HOA-managed medians and Town parks and open spaces are currently being put in place to minimize excessive irrigation and time violations. (Castle Rock Water cringes at irrigation water flowing down the street too!)
While population growth does require additional supply, acquiring new sources of supply and building infrastructure are needed regardless of growth. The addition of new developments help spread the costs between current and future residents, keeping rates from rising excessively.
Water rates in Castle Rock will continue to slowly rise, as will those in surrounding communities, due to the shared need for securing renewable supplies and building infrastructure.
Castle Rock water rates are mid-range compared to regional water providers. A regional rate comparison is available online at CRgov.com/waterrates.
Castle Rock Water has partnered with other South Metro communities to leverage resources and costs to import water, build transport pipelines and develop storage.
Castle Rock Water plans to institute reused water for potable use in the near future, accounting for a third of the Town’s water supply by 2050. Treatment for reuse water is managed at a higher water quality standard.
To increase conservation measures, Castle Rock Water is working with home builders to incorporate indoor water efficiency fixtures and low-water use landscaping options. Smaller lots is one of those measures.
Developers do pay a substantial system development fee (tap fee, approx. $23,000) for infrastructure and future supply.
An annual rates and fees study is conducted to analyze future growth and costs and adjust rates for residential, commercial and development, accordingly.
Castle Rock Water is entirely rate based and does not acquire additional funds through taxes and mill levies as some other South Metro communities do.
A tiered budget for water consumption and regulations for watering every third day and at cooler parts of the day has been in place for more than a decade, resulting in conservation in excess of 20 percent. Castle Rock Water has been acknowledged in the State Water Plan for the success of these aggressive efforts.
Currently, imported water is coming from northern sources such as Denver, Aurora and Weld County - not the Western Slope. Treatment of these supplies is part of the imported water parameters.
The scope of Chatfield Reservoir has been expanded for storage capacity, but its primary purpose for flood mitigation is still in place.
Small town atmosphere is part of the Town’s plan. Having vegetated open space adds to aesthetics and is also a necessity in stormwater management.
Financial analysis is conducted annually to account for the current 20,000 customers, growth at various rates, management of fixed costs with variable customer rates, etc.
Ninety percent of Castle Rock Water’s costs are fixed, yet we have a variable rate for customers.
Several programs are in place to assist customers with landscaping water efficiency including rebates for turf removal, irrigation workshops and a recommended plant list for low-water use landscaping.
Castle Rock Water continues to go beyond water quality regulations with mandatory and voluntary testing and reporting conducted daily. Our annual water quality report is available online at CRgov.com/waterquality.
As we are depleting our aquifer at 5 feet per day (down from 30 feet per day in the 1990's), we are looking at alternative sources of supply. Drilling deeper (in excess of 2,000 feet) and pumping water out (electricity is our highest cost center) is more expensive than some alternative options. We are beginning to pump imported treated water back into the aquifer for storage.
Castle Rock Water does have water monitors patrolling for irrigation violations, but their intent is to educate and not necessarily fine customers. It remains the residents’ responsibility to adhere to regulations.