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Broomfield Council to look at water supply, drought issues in study session

As the city and county prepares to spend more than $70 million on water utility projects, Tuesday’s session will go over what’s at stake.
Broomfield City Council at a regular Council meeting Oct. 11, 2022.

Broomfield City Council scheduled a study session Tuesday that will look at water supply planning, conservation and funding.

The session comes after a new proposal was announced in September to switch Broomfield residents over to a tiered fee system for water usage. Under the new system, those who conserve water could see their utility bills reduced, but residents who use more water would see higher bills.

Broomfield has enough water supply — from the Denver Water Board, Colorado-Big Thompson and Windy Gap Projects — to meet a projected population growth of up to 115,000, a study session memo to City Council said. But the Colorado River drought threatens that supply.

“The ongoing, critical necessity of proactive planning for and securing of Broomfield’s water supply and storage for the growing community cannot be understated,” the memo said.

The city and county plans to update its drought response plan, which was approved by City Council in 2012. The update is needed because of new state drought management guidance, more frequent droughts and Colorado River basin issues.

The city and county’s 2023 proposed budget includes $70.6 million for water utility projects, and $12.5 million for water reclamation utility plans. Reclaimed water is municipal wastewater from Broomfield’s Wastewater Treatment Facility that’s not treated for drinking water standards — it’s only for irrigation.

Over the next two decades, the city and county plans to expand the capacity and efficiency of its reuse system, and reduce the total water system demand by 10%, the memo said. Water reduction efforts include rebates for residents’ high efficiency appliances, toilets, smart controllers and graywater systems. Broomfield also has a lawn replacement program.

The Broomfield City Council study session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the George Di Ciero City and County Building, 1 DesCombes Drive.