Water & Wastewater Management
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:
- 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:
- Explore intergovernmental agreements
- Conduct training workshops
For details of how the programs are changing, including fact sheets showing changes to the application process and the design review process, visit the Water Quality Low Interest Loans page.
There are a number of potential sources of funds available to local governments to make needed improvements to water and wastewater systems. 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.
- Cash 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.
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 Water Conservation Board and the Division of Homeland Security and 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.
Explore the division's public documents, data, and information in the Local Government Information System.