Town of Fraser reviews water efficiency plan
Fraser is one of the fastest-growing towns of its size in the U.S. According to the 2020 census, 1,400 people lived in Fraser, about a 15% increase since the 2010 census. The town’s population in 2032 is expected to be approximately 1,584 people, not including seasonal workers and visitors.
With increased population, there comes more demand for water. The town of Fraser endeavors to use water in an environmentally-friendly way, in line with the town’s 2016 sustainability plan.
In 2022, the town enlisted Merrick and Company to draft a water efficiency plan. Merrick is a engineering, architecture and surveying company.
On March 15, Merrick and Company presented the draft of the plan to the Fraser Board of Trustees.
“This (plan) will help us get a grip on what’s currently happening in our water system, so we can really build forward with that data to better analyze what we need more from water supply,” said Town Manager Michael Brack.
If approved by the town and the public, the plan will be put into practice for the next five years. The town is currently reviewing the plan before they submit it to the public.
Fraser’s water comes from 11 groundwater wells near the Fraser River. The water originates as snowmelt from the mountains. The snowmelt flows into the Fraser Valley and collects underground, which the wells tap into. Fraser’s water rights are also some of the most senior in Colorado, offering a stable supply – albeit dependent on snowfall.
“With additional growth and changing climate, the Town is committed to water conservation for the present and future to protect this critical resource,” the draft plan stated in its introduction.
The plan addresses five key solutions to improve water sustainability:
– Meter replacement to get a better idea of water usage, with an estimated saving of 2,800,000 gallons over five years.
– Database improvements to identify service line leaks, faulty meters and more.
– Residential rate structure amendments to encourage water conservation.
– Leak reduction measures, with an estimated savings of 11,300,000 gallons over five years.
– Community outreach with the town’s largest water users to potentially reengineer aging systems.
“This water efficiency plan has the propensity to save the town about 14% of our water per year,” said former Fraser Town Manager Ed Cannon. “These measures help us to extend that water. It keeps us from having to drill new wells … it also allows us to create more taps to provide for future growth.”
Cannon added that if the town adopts the plan, it opens the door to grants from the Colorado Water Conservation Board. These grants can be used for water conservation projects, watershed health, recreation improvements and more.
“These things will work together very well to allow us to better use our water rights that we have in town,” said Brack. “(To) just be more sustainable especially now we’re looking at larger projects that require water, like Victoria Village … and then essential future expansion for the town.”
To read the entire water efficiency plan, please visit FraserColorado.com and click on the March 15 agenda on the Meeting Agenda page.
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