Department of Local Affairs
1313 Sherman Street, Room 521
Denver, Colorado 80203
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.