Denver Water sets course for 2016

Dec. 16, 2015 - At its meeting today, the Denver Board of Water Commissioners adopted its 2016 budget, revenue requirements and rate structure to fund essential repairs and upgrades to Denver Water’s system. The rate changes will go into effect beginning April 1, 2016.

A Denver Water crew installs a new water pipe  earlier this year. The utility will spend $51 million in 2016 on the water  distribution system in the city, including water main replacement,  rehabilitation and installation, conduit installation, pump station upgrades,  treated water storage reservoir improvements, and vault upgrades.The 2016 budget is $387.5 million — requiring an overall 3.8 percent revenue increase — which will fund a number of multi-year projects, such as replacing aging pipes and failing underground storage tanks, upgrading water treatment facilities and rehabilitating Antero Dam in Park County.

Denver Water’s operational and capital projects are funded by water rates, bond sales, cash reserves, hydropower sales and fees for new service (system development charges). How the revenue increase impacts customer bills will vary depending upon the type of use, customer water usage and whether the customer lives in Denver or is served by a suburban distributor under contract with Denver Water. 

The Board also adopted a new rate structure, which begins to shift rate revenue from a heavy reliance on water use toward a more stable fixed fee over the next few years. The new structure will provide a more secure source of the revenue the utility needs to continue to collect, treat and deliver safe, reliable water to its customers. Read more about the new rate structure.

Crews work on excavating Antero Dam last year as part  of the $20 million rehabilitation project to ensure the century-old dam will  operate safely for another 100 years. The project is expected to be completed  in 2018.“The reality is we face a challenge to continue to upgrade our aging facilities while planning water projects to meet the needs of our customers as our population grows,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO/manager of Denver Water. “Our priorities for 2016 and the changes to the rate structure will allow us to continue improving our water system while ensuring essential water use remains affordable for our customers.”

Denver Water operates and maintains more than 3,000 miles of distribution pipe — enough to stretch from Los Angeles to New York — as well as 19 reservoirs, 22 pump stations, 30 underground storage tanks, four treatment plants and more. The water provider’s collection system covers more than 4,000 square miles and operates facilities in 12 counties in Colorado.

Customers will see more information about 2016 rates in their bills and on Denver Water’s website over the next few months.


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Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and promotes its efficient use to 1.4 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, the utility is a public agency funded by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. It is Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility. Subscribe to TAP to hydrate your mind, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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