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.
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.
“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.