While securing local water rights and conserving existing water supplies are important, the Town's plan also includes looking at regional partnership opportunities to further secure the community’s water future. In particular, the Legacy Water Projects include WISE Water and the Box Elder projects. They are also known as the alternate source of supply projects. These projects are designed to import water from Denver, Aurora, and other water rights the Town is purchasing on the South Platte River north of Denver.
Alternate source of water supply
In October 2012, Town Council voted in favor of pursuing a hybrid solution for the Town's long-term water goals. Town staff entered into negotiations with Stillwater Resources and WISE partnership, which could result in renewable water being imported into the Town by early 2018. For more information, view a timeline of this process.
South Metro Water Supply Authority
The South Metro Water Supply Authority has been instrumental in developing opportunities for smaller Front Range water providers to partner with larger ones, such as Denver and Aurora. The authority is also implementing studies and projects as identified in the Regional Water Master Plan.
In 2009, Castle Rock Water became part of the WISE Partnership. That partnership of 10 South Metro organizations signed agreements to import renewable water from Denver and Aurora. To date, the Town has invested approximately $36 million into pipelines along E-470 to Rueter-Hess Reservoir, and from the reservoir to Castle Rock. These pipelines, along with pumps and tanks are in various stages of completion with WISE water anticipated by early 2018. These pipeline investments are a critical piece of the system that will not only allow Castle Rock Water to import WISE water but also bring water from the Box Elder project.
Box Elder project
Castle Rock has Water invested about $27 million into the water rights in the South Platte River, north of Denver in Weld County. That’s about 72 percent of the total water rights targeted for purchase in the Box Elder project. The Town has purchased the Box Elder well field in Weld County that could be used to divert these water rights, and has also secured capacity in the Keenesburg Pipeline - another key piece of infrastructure for transporting the imported water from Box Elder.
Securing the remaining water rights for this project will be a focus in the next several years. Many of the details of the Box Elder project are still in the planning stage, but with the goal to bring water from this project to Castle Rock sometime after 2025.
Both of these Legacy Water Projects are important to the community and have become a good fit into Castle Rock Water’s overall long-term water puzzle.
East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District Northern Pipeline
An agreement to purchase capacity in the northern pipeline has been negotiated and is available to all South Metro Water Supply Authority members. The Town is planning to purchase additional capacity in this pipeline and is actively negotiating directly with the authority members and East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District (ECCV) on the final share of the pipe's capacity and cost.
Castle Rock Water is partnering with other communities to share in the costs and resources of import renewable water. The Smoky Hill tank and Quebec Street Treatment Plant are two of several WISE assets which are owned jointly with the members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority. Rueter-Hess Reservoir will store excess imported water for several communities.