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Addressing the state's water challenges by improving water efficiency through diverse community connections, innovative solutions and valuable member resources



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  • Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:03 PM | Laura Wing (Administrator)


    Colorado WaterWise is thrilled to inform you we have officially launched to bring our award-winning Colorado Water – Live Like You Love It campaign to a broader audience and provide you another compelling resource for water education.                                                                                   


    The Colorado Water -- Live Like You Love It  campaign was launched last year to deliver a unified, consistent message about the value of Colorado water and the need to conserve, care for and commit to becoming more informed about this critical resource. This content filled a need for simple, fun and professionally produced educational tools.

    Public opinion research shows many Coloradans don’t understand the value of our water. is now a hub for information on how to conserve and care for our water. The new website compliments our LoveColoradoWater Facebook page.

    Help us spread the love! contains information on how you and can JOIN THE CAMPAIGN to ensure that this message continues to flow. These tools are essential in helping you communicate with customers, students, and businesses about the value of our water.                                               

    By pooling funds and resources and streamlining messaging, we can collectively make a much bigger splash in educating Coloradans about the one thing no one can live without.


    Please check out the new website and become part of this powerful movement to encourage Coloradans to love their water!

  • Monday, April 20, 2015 10:04 AM | Deleted user

    By Jay Adams, Denver Water

    The state has legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use and those plants need water to grow. The plants are part of Colorado - there is no denying it. 

    With the legalization of recreational marijuana, Jeff Tejral, Manager of Conservation, and Michael Thomas, Conservation Office Technician, want to know how much water growers in the blossoming industry are using. 

    In an effort to start gathering data on the cannabis industry’s water use, the conservation team reviewed 16 grow facilities in Denver Water’s service area that were registered with the state in 2014. Thomas traced consumption at the addresses back to 2005. 

    While the research was not able to determine how long the grow operations were in business at each address, it did reveal a steady increase in water consumption during key periods when laws changed in Colorado.  Although the amount of water the growers use is only a small portion of Denver Water’s overall supply, Tejral wants to have a good understanding of the industry and where it’s heading. "They are our customers and the people who use their product are also our customers," he said. 

    Tejral is reaching out to growers, including Denver Relief in northeast Denver. He found that Denver Water and cannabis growers have a common goal — use only what you need. For Denver Water, conservation is a long-held practice. At Denver Relief, using the right amount of water is important because it builds healthy plants, and healthy plants lead to good sales and good business. 

    “We want to know if we are over-feeding these plants," said Nick Hice, Denver Relief co-owner. Denver Relief is constantly experimenting with the amount of water, light and nutrients plants receive. Some of the experiments have resulted in reduced water consumption. "Two years ago we used 80 gallons of water per week for a table of 21 plants. Today we use only 60 gallons a week," Hice said. Denver Relief will continue experimenting with water use to see if it can keep plants just as healthy or even healthier with less water. 

    Another benefit of reduced consumption is that it requires less labor. "If we don't have to water as much, our staff can spend more time monitoring the plants for disease and overall health," Hice said. 

    Denver Relief and Denver Water have another common goal: both would like to see the marijuana industry develop a list of best practices for the water-related aspects of growing cannabis. The list would include promoting the use of charcoal water filters instead of reverse osmosis to remove chemicals from tap water that plants do not need, such as fluoride and chlorine. Charcoal filtration not only removes the chemicals, but also uses less water. 

  • Thursday, April 02, 2015 4:50 PM | Laura Wing (Administrator)

    What do the communities of Aspen, Brighton and Fort Collins have in common? They all want to save energy over the next two years, an effort that could result in a $5 million prize from Georgetown University.

    The Georgetown University Energy Prize today announced the three Colorado cities as semi-finalists among the 50 communities in the national competition, which will include electrical and natural gas consumption. The winning community must reduce its residential, municipal and K-12 energy consumption by 2017 to be eligible for the $5 million purse. The competition will help Georgetown identify, study, and advance best practices, creating tools for other cities and counties across the country to drastically improve their energy efficiency. Finalists will be announced in 2017. The competition does not include businesses.

    “One of the best opportunities to conserve energy is by increasing the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings,” said Jeffrey Ackermann, Director of the Colorado Energy Office. “We applaud the cities of Fort Collins, Brighton, and Aspen in their efforts to lead by example and better their local communities by implementing long-term, sustainable measures to reduce energy consumption.”

    “Colorado is one of the few states where we have multiple communities competing – we know Colorado is an important state when it comes to energy policy, clean energy research and an interest in environmental sustainability,” said Christofer Nelson, program director for the Georgetown University’s Program on Science in the Public Interest, which is leading the contest. “We wish all three cities the best in the program.”

    Competing cities come from 27 states. They are diverse socioeconomically and demographically, ranging from 5,000 to 250,000 people.

    To win the competition, communities must:
    • Demonstrate a reduction in energy consumption that is sustainable over two years, illustrating significant improvements in adoption rates.
    • Demonstrate that their actions are replicable in other communities across the country.

    Meet the Colorado competitors:
    Aspen – 5,900 people, 220 miles west of Denver
    The City of Aspen Canary Initiative’s Climate Action Plan goal aims to reduce Aspen’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020. To win the prize, the City, Holy Cross Energy, SourceGas, and Energy Smart Colorado at the Community Office for Resource Efficiency will offer residents rebates to complete energy efficiency upgrades, help them take control of their utility bills, make their buildings more comfortable and safe, and reduce their environmental impact. Ryland French, Utilities Efficiency Specialist for the City of Aspen, noted, “We are asking the Aspen community to get involved and help us show Fort Collins, Brighton, and the rest of the nation that Aspen is the leader in smart energy use.” French added, “The local energy savings will make every community competing in the Georgetown University Energy Prize a true winner, but we want Aspen to finish on top, and win that $5 million prize.”

    Brighton – 34,000 people, 20 miles north of Denver
    Brighton’s vision is to become an environmentally sustainable community by shaping and implementing achievable, multi-faceted and measureable strategies that maximize opportunity and efficiency while minimizing cost. To celebrate the City’s advancement in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition, there will be a Brighton Sustainable Kick-off Event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, February 21 at the Brighton Armory Performing Arts Center. “Brighton is a sustainable and livable city. We have three pillars of sustainability – economic viability, environmentally sound, and social equity. Being a semifinalist in the Georgetown University Energy Prize brings Brighton one step closer to achieving our energy reduction goals. This allows the City to continue to innovate viable resources to make Brighton a sustainable community for years to come,” said City of Brighton Mayor Dick McLean.

    Fort Collins – 155,000 people, 60 miles north of Denver
    Fort Collins has been recognized nationally as one of the first communities to organize the triple bottom line – the departments of Social Sustainability, Environmental Services and Economic Health - under one service area, known as Sustainability Services. The City also benefits from having its own municipal utility, which was the first municipal utility in the United States to register with the Global Reporting Initiative. The City aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. “Fort Collins is already on the national map when it comes to contributing our knowledge about energy conservation and building a community that is resilient to climate change,’” said Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat. “We appreciate the efforts of Georgetown to take what we all learn from this competition and turn it into best practices that can serve our entire nation.”

    About the Georgetown University Energy Prize
    The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a multi-million dollar competition that is challenging small- to medium-size towns, cities, and counties to work together with their local governments, residents, utilities, and others to achieve innovative, replicable, scalable and continual reductions in the per account energy consumption of gas and electricity. Formally launched in April of 2014, the Georgetown University Energy Prize represents years of study and development that brought leading academics together with government officials, industry professionals, and top national and global non-governmental organizations.
  • Wednesday, March 11, 2015 1:03 PM | Deleted user

    Visit our Newsletter page to read the latest edition. 

    You will find this issue is jam-packed with inspiration for outdoor conservation. Don Ireland, whom we have spotlighted in this issue, is a citizen who didn't like what he was seeing at his condo association and went to work making changes. Two other articles, Habitat Heroes and Cherry Creek 3, highlight what he has accomplished by saving water and money and giving the condo association some curb appeal and creating habitat. If only all of our customers were this passionate. Don really lives like he loves his water.

    Become a Colorado WaterWise Member to have access to our newsletter archives.  

  • Monday, March 02, 2015 11:15 AM | Deleted user
    Colorado WaterWise is seeking proposals for a new graphic artist to assemble high quality quarterly newsletters. Must be able to work in Adobe InDesign software and be able to work well with editorial team and meet deadlines on a regular basis. Estimated salary will be approximately $300 issue.

    Please provide a cover letter explaining your experience as a graphic artist and your desire to work for this organization. Please include samples of your work and references if available.

    Please submit your proposals to Ruth Quade at the City of Greeley. Deadline is April 15, 2015.
  • Wednesday, February 04, 2015 2:14 PM | Deleted user

    By Morgan Shimabuku, Center for ReSource Conservation

    Beginning in the fall of 2013 the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) began laying the foundation for a commercial water assessment program. Through a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and partnerships with a local expert consultant Water DM and six Front Range utilities, CRC created a commercial water assessment program to help utilities reach businesses and to help businesses save water.

    The program focuses on the two most common areas of water use across the commercial sector: kitchen and restroom use. During the assessment the water technician measures flow rates, notes and reports any leaky faucets, showerheads or toilets, and identifies appliance models that use water. All of the data is gathered through an Excelbased CII Assessment Tool, created by The Brendle Group and the City of Boulder, with support from Colorado WaterWise. The Tool provides the back-end calculations for potential water and cost savings. It calculates the benefits of switching out inefficient fixtures with WaterSense standard fixtures, cost savings estimates (both for water and energy savings if the fixture uses hot water), and pay-back periods for all potential upgrades. The Tool allows for the input of unique utility rates and rebates in order to provide each business with a customized assessment of their potential for water savings improvements.

    During the first year of the program CRC performed 25 assessments at 9 different types of businesses. From the first 22 assessments alone, CRC identified more than 9 million gallons of potential water savings and more than $77,000 in cost savings for the businesses through simple fixture upgrades (see table). From this list of fixtures aerators, showerheads, tank toilets and urinals were found to offer the highest potential for water and cost savings. This bodes well for water efficiency improvements within the commercial sector, as these products are not only readily available, but also relatively inexpensive. And with the recent passage of Senate Bill 14-103 in the Colorado state legislature, stores and suppliers will soon only be carrying WaterSense versions of these fixtures.

    Not all businesses will decide to follow through with these upgrades immediately, but this kind of information is still useful to both the business and the utility. The business can use the information to plan for and implement fixture upgrades that make the most economic sense, while the utility can also plan for conservation programs that offer their businesses the most pertinent and impactful options through programs such as rebates or direct-installs.

    While the commercial assessment program is still adapting to the demand and the needs of different water utilities and Colorado businesses, the findings from this initial stage in the program suggest that there are significant conservation opportunities within the commercial sector. A commercial assessment program is therefore a valuable offering within a well-rounded portfolio of water conservation programs.

    For more articles like this, subscribe to the Colorado WaterWise Newsletter. 

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2:22 PM | Deleted user

    By Laura Wing, City of Thornton

    Colorado WaterWise is proud to announce the Colorado Water – Live Like you Love It Toolkit!  The Colorado Water – Live Like You Love It Toolkit is designed to turn water into gold…at least as precious as gold in the eyes of Coloradans. Extensive research conducted by CWCB and other water interests in the state has shown that Coloradans, particularly younger and minority audiences, do not have a good grasp of basic water facts. Another challenge is educating an increasing number of newcomers to Colorado on the fact that water here is scarce and is becoming the new “gold” of our economy.

    Recognizing that Colorado is one of the few western states without a statewide, unified, water message platform, Colorado WaterWise created the first phase of a Communication Toolkit to arm its members with compelling messaging and attractive packaging of those messages to bolster our state’s water communications efforts. The ultimate goal of the Toolkit is to make an emotional connection between Coloradans and the water they need to sustain the quality of their lives.

    Colorado WaterWise solicited input from stakeholders from around the State to develop the first phase of the Toolkit, which includes a program name, slogan and logo, a general fact sheet, an animated video, print/digital ad, Facebook page, and three Colorado “Fourteener” fact sheets that provide hands-on conservation and water quality tips. The materials encourage the audience to Conserve (reduce water use), Care (protect water quality) and Commit (learn more and make your voice heard).

    Colorado WaterWise is providing the Toolkit to its members and would like to see the materials used by water professionals and educators to complement their own educational materials. Co-branding is encouraged to build long-lasting message recognition. Or, if an organization is launching a new water awareness program, the logo and materials are a great way to get it started. The idea is to share it with as many people as possible and work with partners to move into the next phase which includes more materials, such as a website, topic specific infographics, social media, and more.

    To join the movement and Live Like You Love It, Like Love Colorado Water on Facebook or follow it on Twitter at @LoveCOWater.

    For more articles like this, subscribe to the Colorado WaterWise Newsletter. 

  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:54 AM | Deleted user

    Ray Tschillard, Poudre Learning Center

    Each fall area high school students, interested in the air they breathe, the water they drink and the land they live, on join together for the Caring for our Watersheds™ program challenge to think about their local Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson River watersheds and how they can protect these most essential environmental assets. The students research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern, and develop a potential solution.

    Caring for our Watersheds- COLORADO is made possible locally with support from Agrium Advanced Technologies, Poudre Learning Center, Central Colorado Water Conservancy District and the City of Greeley Water & Sewer Department. Through the years students have provided viable answers to the question— “What can you do to improve your watershed?” It is apparent by their efforts how much future generations care about watersheds, their world and their place in it.

    Each year around 200 students from high schools in Greeley, Fort Collins, Eaton, Johnstown, Loveland and Berthoud entered the contest, writing 1,000 word essays explaining their research on the Cache la Poudre or the Big Thompson watersheds, describing the environmental issues and their proposed solutions, and outlining implementation budgets for their ideas. Students compete for $6,000 in cash awards and participating schools are eligible for $8,000 in cash awards. In addition, Agrium has made $10,000 available to help students implement their ideas this spring. The creativity this contest affords students is beneficial for our environment and the communities we serve. Anytime we can engage and involve our younger generation in environmental conversation it benefits us all. They are actively seeking ways to make our communities sustainable for upcoming generations and we are here to help them.

    One of the past winners was Ivonne Morales, presently a University of Colorado Environmental Studies major and former Greeley Central student. Ivonnes’s proposal was the 2013 CFW 2nd place finisher. Ivonne’s idea was selected to be implemented internationally at all twelve Caring for our Watershed™ sites across the globe!

    Brother and sister team Danny and Manny Araujo were the top winners in the 2014 contest. Their project bought reusable grocery bags and did educational presentations about plastic bags to their students, faculty, parents and community.

    The success of CFW relies on teachers, students and community volunteers. If you would like to be involved please visit

    For more articles like this, subscribe to the Colorado WaterWise Newsletter.
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015 2:38 PM | Laura Wing (Administrator)

    Colorado WaterWise will be at the 2015 Watershed Summit on January 21, Colorado Water Congress January 28-30 and the Poudre River Forum on January 31, 2015. Stop by our table to say hi.

Colorado WaterWise                                  

PO Box 101012

Denver, CO 80250

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