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Local Government Water & Wastewater Management

Program Contact


Barry Cress

303.864-7736
barry.cress@state.co.us
Department of Local Affairs
1313 Sherman Street, Room 521
Denver, Colorado 80203

 


 

Overview

Supplying safe drinking water and treating wastewater are two of the basic services local governments provide. Department staff can assist communities in addressing the range of water and wastewater problems they often face, from deteriorating distribution lines to inadequate budgeting and accounting practices. Department staff are available to analyze needs and develop goals, develop a capital improvement program, analyze rate structures for user and tap fees, coordinate with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other state and federal agencies, explore funding alternatives and identify plant operator training programs.

 


 

Management Assistance

Sound management of a system is central to preventing or solving problems. Good administrative practices may free up cash needed for improvements and help secure funding. The Department of Local Affairs can help local governments strengthen budgeting and general financial management. Department staff are also available to:

  • Analyze needs and help establish priorities
  • Develop capital improvements programs
  • Analyze and restructure rates for user and tap fees
  • Coordinate with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other state and federal agencies
  • Provide and discuss the following publications concerning matters related to water and wastewater systems:
    • PDFAvailable Financial Assistance (PDF)
    • PDFDeveloping a User Rate and Fee System
    • PDFUtility Fees, Rates, and Collections (PDF)
    • PDFDeveloping a Capital Improvements Program (PDF)
    • PDFWater Pollution Control Revolving Fund (WPCRF) Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Explore intergovernmental agreements
  • Conduct training workshops

 


 

Financial Management

There are a number of potential sources of funds available to local governments to make needed improvements to water and wastewater systems. The Colorado Water and Sewer Funding Coordination Committee is made up of representatives of most of the funding programs listed below. Regular meetings are conducted and local officials are welcome to observe and provide input. A Preliminary Funding Request Form can be completed to raise awareness of a community's infrastructure and financing needs. Staff can help coordinate project funding among various programs, and help evaluate options for private financing through municipal bonds, contracting for services, or "privatization." In addition, staff can help local officials explore suitable government grant and loan sources including:

  • State Revolving Loan Funds, which provide below-market rate loans from the Colorado Water Resources & Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) to qualifying entities to upgrade water and wastewater treatment systems. Colorado's Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF) is available for certain drinking water system projects which are listed on the DWRF eligibility list. The Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund (WPCRF) is available for wastewater and other "clean water" projects listed on the WPCRF eligibility list. Both of these lists can be accessed here: WPCRF eligibility list  or the DWRF eligibility list . For both programs, a cash flow projection should be completed which demonstrates future planning. A sample cash flow projection (XLS) is available. To view projects funded through the DWRF or WPCRF Programs, click here.
  • XLSCash flow projection worksheet.
  • U.S.D.A. Rural Development grants and low interest loans to rural communities.
  • Community Development Block Grants for low to moderate income populations.
  • Energy Impact Assistance Program grants and low interest loans to areas affected by energy or mineral development.
  • Colorado Water Conservation Board loans for raw water storage and transmission.
     

 

Emergency Assistance

The Department can provide and coordinate technical and financial assistance to communities faced with health hazards which arise from sudden, unplanned circumstances, such as floods or freezing. The Department also works with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources' Water Conservation Board and the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) in implementing portions of the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.

 


 

Drought Management

The Department co-chairs the Municipal Water Supply Task Force which can be activated under the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan (PDF). Ongoing drought and water supply monitoring is conducted by the Water Availability Task Force . If your community's water system is impacted by drought conditions, department staff can assist in coordinating a solution.