ELP Bronze Achiever - City of Thornton Water Resources Division


City of Thornton Water Resources Division

The city of Thornton’s existing water supply system serves a population of 148,591 – an estimated 131,761 people residing within the city’s corporate boundaries and 16,830 people in the extended service area. In addition, the city provides water service to 763 commercial, industrial, and institutional customers, as well as 681 irrigation accounts, including treated and raw water. Thornton further provides bulk treated water deliveries to the city of Westminster. Thornton recognizes that water efficiency is an essential component of the city’s long-term water supply planning strategy. Through investment in water efficiency programs, Thornton can reduce the amount of water that the city must ultimately acquire or develop in order to meet its build-out demand.

The following list includes Thornton’s current water efficiency programs.
  • Residential, Commercial and Multi-Family Toilet Rebates.
  • Residential and Commercial Smart Irrigation Controller Rebates.
  • Residential and Commercial Rain Sensor Rebates.
  • Residential and Commercial Sprinkler System Consultations.
  • Residential Home Water Consultations.
  • Public Outreach, Festivals, Presentations, Youth Education, etc.
  • Thornton Water Efficiency Outreach Initiative.
  • Water Restrictions (as needed).
  • City Code, includes Conservation of Water Resources (Water waste is always prohibited).
  • Tiered Rate Billing Structure.
  • Landscape Codes Incorporating Water Wise Principles.
  • Automatic Irrigation System Inspections.
  • Colorado Water Wise Council Participation.
  • Leak Repair on Distribution System.
  • Reusable Water Rights Operations.
  • Water Line Replacement Program.
  • City Property Water Efficiency Programs.
  • Residential Water Report Card (New).
  • Residential Rain Barrel Rebates (New).
  • Residential Turf Replacement Program (New).
  • Residential and Commercial Turf Alternative Rebate (New).
With efficiency measures and programs in place since 2003, the city of Thornton has been able to reduce residential water use to below 85 gallons per capita day (gpcd) , based upon a five-year rolling average. This goal was met, demonstrating a 20% decrease when compared to 106 gpcd usage during the pre-drought year of 2001 and prior to the enactment of water use restrictions. Most of the programs that helped achieve this goal will continue to be implemented through 2024. New programs that focus on landscape, irrigation and commercial water efficiency have been implemented and are planned to continue through 2024. In 2017, Thornton’s residential water use was 79 gpcd, 6% lower than 2016. Thornton estimates that scheduled water efficiency programs can save an additional 1,000 acre-feet of water by the end of 2024.