The Parker Water and Sanitation District has signed an agreement that will send an average of 1,200 acre-feet of water from Aurora to Parker each year.
Parker Water joins nine other members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority that have signed on to WISE, or the Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency agreement. The June 13 approval by the PWSD board of directors adds another source of water for the area’s long-term needs, said district manager Ron Redd.
Parker Water pulls much of its water supply from the Denver Basin Aquifer, but it also captures an average of 5,000 acre-feet annually off Cherry Creek. The WISE agreement will have Parker piping 12,000 acre-feet of recycled water from Aurora and Denver every 10 years for an indefinite period of time.
Water rates will likely go up 1 percent to 2 percent incrementally because of WISE, although any increases will not occur until a thorough rate analysis is conducted, Redd said. The results of the analysis will be released in mid-2014.
The PWSD will start receiving the first trickles of water in 2016 and get full delivery of 1,200 acre-feet starting in 2021. The district hopes to use an existing pipeline along the E-470 corridor to transport the water and is in the process of negotiating with the East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District. If an agreement is not reached, the district would have to build its own infrastructure at a steep cost.
The Pinery Water and Wastewater District, along with a handful of smaller south metro districts, announced earlier this year that it had purchased 500 acre-feet of water through WISE.
Parker Water needs 20,000 acre-feet for full build-out of the Town of Parker, the Ridgegate development in Lone Tree, and portions of Castle Pines. It is still searching for an additional 6,000 acre-feet.
The supply coming from Denver and Aurora is water that has been used and treated. The district will again reclaim the water, meaning the average of 1,200 acre-feet coming in each year will actually measure close to 2,400 acre-feet, Redd said, adding there is a possibility that Parker Water might purchase more WISE water in the future.
In addition to bolstering its water supply, Redd says working with the two largest water providers in the state “opens up possibilities to work with them on projects in the future.”
Rueter-Hess Reservoir, which the PWSD built for storage, contains around 6,000 acre-feet. By the time the new water treatment plant off Hess Road opens in 2015, the reservoir will contain 15,000 to 20,000 acre-feet. It has the capacity for 72,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot, depending on the region and conservation efforts, is generally enough to serve a family of four for a year.