Colorado Water and Growth Dialogue
By 2040, Colorado is projected to experience an approximately 70 percent increase in population and with it an assumed substantial increase in demand for water by municipalities and industry.
In the semi-arid climate of the West with limited water supplies, this increase in demand will result in a well-known and pressing water-supply gap and significant problem for the future of Colorado. The Colorado Water and Growth Dialogue explored whether, and if so to what degree, the integration of water and land use planning can be utilized to reduce water demand from residential housing development and re-development associated with the projected population increase.
The Water and Growth Dialogue provides data and information to land planners, water planners, policy makers, development interests, and others interested in the potential impact of integrating land and water planning. The topics of density and landscaping and their effects on reducing water demand are important considerations for communities to examine as they plan for impending growth. One of the goals of the dialogue is to provide planners with the right information so that they can consider water, along with all other factors, as they plan for new growth.
To this end, the effort brought together the following products for planners and others to utilize in their decision making:
- A final report that contains:
- An analysis of how much water demand can be reduced via densification
- A case study analysis of water demand savings from Aurora’s landscaping policies
- A set of strategies that local governments can use to begin integrating land and water planning within their communities and suggestions for other analyses need to be completed.
- The Residential Land Use and Water Demand Tool to allow planners to develop their own scenarios of growth and compare the water use implications of the scenarios side-by-side.
- A report of the Exploratory Scenario Process, which used a working group to explore future uncertainties that have the highest impact on the planning environment [PDF]
- Presentations on the Dialogue’s analysis and modeling of:
- A report of what has been done in other states in terms of water and land planning [PDF]