Aspen Community Water Plan

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Thank you for coming to our project page. This project is now closed for feedback but you can still read about it here. The next step will be presenting a draft long-term water plan or IRP in front of Aspen City Council in summer 2021.


Protecting and Safeguarding our Water Future
The City of Aspen has provided safe and reliable drinking water for the community since 1966. We work around the clock to make sure every drop is safe and provides the vital resource our community needs to live, work, and recreate. As a community that relies on snow for our water supply, we often think about time: yesterday's snow is tomorrow's glass of water and the source for all our daily needs. Thinking about tomorrow is what we are focused on today.

Our Water Source

Water for the Aspen community originates in pristine watersheds for home, business, agriculture, and recreational use. Primarily fed by snow from the Elk Mountains, Aspen’s water comes largely from Maroon and Castle Creeks. Because the City has limited storage, current flows and the City’s water rights dictate availability.




A Roadmap for Our Water Future
In planning for our region’s future, we recognize that our community faces the challenges of a changing climate and the need for adaptation. Over the past 25 years, the average temperature in Aspen has risen 3 degrees, while snowfall has dwindled by 16% and population has risen by nearly 10 percent. With the average annual water demand projected to increase in the next 15 years, this future landscape makes securing a safe and reliable water supply an important priority for the City of Aspen.

The strategic water planning process now underway, also referred to as Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) is a holistic approach to the management of water systems that combines supply, demand, quality, environmental protection and enhancement, financial planning, and public engagement. With climate change, a growing year-round population, increasing risk of wildfire and drought, and little water storage, it is essential for the City to actively plan and implement tactics for a safe and reliable water supply. In addition, the 50-year plan will help build on the community's water conservation successes, optimize use of the City’s current water rights, and provide direction on conditional water rights the City holds.

Community Engagement

The City of Aspen Water Department held three community engagement sessions at three stages of the IRP process that focused on overall values when considering a new long-term water plan, supply vulnerabilities, and issues to consider when creating a portfolio of water supply for the community. Below are topics that are now closed that received comments since November 2020. If you would like to answer these questions, you can add your comments to the open forum below.

During the final phase of designing the IRP, we would like your input on your priorities for putting a water portfolio together. The forum question below is open for your feedback. Please feel free to also address your values in explaining your preference along with any issues of great concern for you.


Thank you for coming to our project page. This project is now closed for feedback but you can still read about it here. The next step will be presenting a draft long-term water plan or IRP in front of Aspen City Council in summer 2021.


Protecting and Safeguarding our Water Future
The City of Aspen has provided safe and reliable drinking water for the community since 1966. We work around the clock to make sure every drop is safe and provides the vital resource our community needs to live, work, and recreate. As a community that relies on snow for our water supply, we often think about time: yesterday's snow is tomorrow's glass of water and the source for all our daily needs. Thinking about tomorrow is what we are focused on today.

Our Water Source

Water for the Aspen community originates in pristine watersheds for home, business, agriculture, and recreational use. Primarily fed by snow from the Elk Mountains, Aspen’s water comes largely from Maroon and Castle Creeks. Because the City has limited storage, current flows and the City’s water rights dictate availability.




A Roadmap for Our Water Future
In planning for our region’s future, we recognize that our community faces the challenges of a changing climate and the need for adaptation. Over the past 25 years, the average temperature in Aspen has risen 3 degrees, while snowfall has dwindled by 16% and population has risen by nearly 10 percent. With the average annual water demand projected to increase in the next 15 years, this future landscape makes securing a safe and reliable water supply an important priority for the City of Aspen.

The strategic water planning process now underway, also referred to as Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) is a holistic approach to the management of water systems that combines supply, demand, quality, environmental protection and enhancement, financial planning, and public engagement. With climate change, a growing year-round population, increasing risk of wildfire and drought, and little water storage, it is essential for the City to actively plan and implement tactics for a safe and reliable water supply. In addition, the 50-year plan will help build on the community's water conservation successes, optimize use of the City’s current water rights, and provide direction on conditional water rights the City holds.

Community Engagement

The City of Aspen Water Department held three community engagement sessions at three stages of the IRP process that focused on overall values when considering a new long-term water plan, supply vulnerabilities, and issues to consider when creating a portfolio of water supply for the community. Below are topics that are now closed that received comments since November 2020. If you would like to answer these questions, you can add your comments to the open forum below.

During the final phase of designing the IRP, we would like your input on your priorities for putting a water portfolio together. The forum question below is open for your feedback. Please feel free to also address your values in explaining your preference along with any issues of great concern for you.


Discussions: All (4) Open (0)
  • Water Supply Portfolio

    8 months ago
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    The following factors are taken into consideration when creating a portfolio of water supply sources and options.  As the City seeks to create a sustainble water supply for the next 50-years and beyond to meet the needs of the community, which will be greater than today due to climate change and other changes in the community and environment, the portfolio of water sources in the supply is a significant decision. Which of the below is the most important to you as the City creates it water supply portfolio?  Please share why.

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  • Water Supply Values

    9 months ago
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    What values are most important when considering supply options?

    A wide range of factors can be considered when comparing water supply strategies and defining the "portfolio" of individual supply sources to meet Aspen's future needs.  Currently, the City's water comes from Maroon and Castle Creeks.  In the future, water supply can be augmented with the areas on this photo in yellow.  


    Potential considerations when looking at future supply can include: 

    • Water Quality 
    • Instream Flow Protection 
    • System Reliability (Year-round) and Robustness
    • Emergency Supply Reliability
    • Energy Footprint
    • Climate Resilience
    • Adaptability / Ability to Phase In
    • Operational Complexity
    • Unit Supply Cost

    The City is seeking community feedback regarding the relative importance of each of these considerations in guiding water supply decisions, and identification of any additional considerations not described here.

     

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  • Issues

    about 1 year ago
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    What issues do you see today and into the future regarding Aspen's effort to provide a safe and reliable water supply or water quality?

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  • Values

    about 1 year ago
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    What community values require consideration during the 50-year planning process?

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Page last updated: 20 April 2021, 15:17