November 2010 DEWSS

Donala’s Expanded Water Supply Study (DEWSS)

(719)488-3603      November 2010

This is the first in a series of articles intended to keep our customers informed and gather input as we continue our quest of securing a renewable water source to supplement our depleting wells. To date, we have spent millions of dollars on snowpack water, and will continue to do so if necessary. We are pursuing all viable options – including water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwestern Wyoming, potentially renewable groundwater on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, and other available water from the Lower Arkansas Valley.

Another concept involves capturing the hundreds of millions of gallons of our water that are lost down Monument Creek every year. It is our water to use to extinction. We are currently examining what it would take to keep the water, secure its integrity in state-of-the-art treatment processes, and mix it with incoming new water. If we could do that we can extend our water supply and save millions of dollars.

This is not a new idea. Projects all over the world, the U.S., and the state are proceeding along the same lines. Aurora’s Prairie Waters Project is one example (see After facing water shortage problems for many years, Aurora developed this water supply project that will be up and running by 2012. Water shortages all over the world have been driving concepts like this for decades and they will become more and more prevalent. New technology available today, along with natural treatment processes, makes this a very viable alternative. In fact, in most of the world most sources of surface water are simply the excess water of the upstream user. The only question is how far upstream? Water quality and safety in all surface water supply sources are ensured by careful source management and constant monitoring. While drinking water safety in Colorado is specifically the responsibility of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Donala of course, has the primary responsibility to its customers for water quality and maintains its own rigorous safety procedures and monitoring.

To explore the reclaimed water supply option in our district, we have launched a year-long study – the Donala Expanded Water Supply Study (DEWSS). Our team of engineering consultants has begun its investigation of our current resources, multiple means of water purification, potential facility locations, regulatory issues, etc. We also want public input and support. We will be asking several knowledgeable members of the community to join us in a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). If you would like to help in that capacity, please let us know. As we get ideas and information on what might work, how, where, etc., we will share them with the CAC to get their input. Hopefully, in the late spring of 2011 we will also have enough information and concepts narrowed down to present to everyone in a Town Meeting format.

Be assured that drinking water safety is our number one priority. Any new water in our system will be as safe and pure as what you drink now. We also will continue to be good stewards of the environment. In fact, if determined viable, this project has the potential to create more wetland habitat. Donala’s mission is a simple one: To provide our customers with the best possible drinking water and wastewater services at the most economical cost. We believe DEWSS will help us do just that.

As always, we welcome your input – especially if you have some technical expertise on the subject and/or would like to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee. Call us at 488-3603, or email our general manager at