15-Mile Pipeline Could Provide Water to Growing Populations in Arapahoe, Douglas Counties

The East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District plans to build a 15-mile pipeline to provide water to the Arapahoe and Douglas counties in Colorado. The $20 million pipeline will transport water to an expected increase of 6,800 homes and businesses.

East Cherry Creek Valley and 14 other water providers belong to the Douglas County Water Resource Authority, which is looking for ways to replace water being drawn from the aquifers beneath rapidly growing areas. Officials hope to allay some of the cost by letting other districts move water through the line.

Authority members are taking part in a joint study with the Denver Water Board and the Colorado River Water Conservation District to determine whether it is feasible for metro-area districts to buy excess water from the Western Slope. If that happens, the districts will need a way to get the water from Denver's system to their customers.

East Cherry Creek Valley's proposal might be the answer, manager David Kaunisto said. "This could be a one-time opportunity to build a major pipeline like this."

The East Cherry Creek Valley district bought the pump station where the pipeline will begin last year from the Willows Water District for $18.5 million. Willows will hook its customers into Denver's system.

Because it is still unknown whether the Western Slope water will become available, districts would pay initially only to enlarge the line. Once they began moving water through the line, districts would pay their pro-rated share of the total construction cost.

(Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News)

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