A City Prepared for an Uncertain Future: Colorado Springs Utilities Balances Water Conservation and Revenue Stability

Case Study
Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) serves a growing community in a semi-arid environment, with limited local water resources transported from mountain sources. CSU shares challenges common to many other utilities, such as recent droughts and recession, long-term economic and population growth, and the prospect of climate change. To manage water use more efficiently, CSU has adapted its water rates and initiated additional active water conservation programs. Conservation rates and programs coupled with economic conditions have resulted in reduced demand in recent years, as well as unprecedented revenue uncertainty. At the same time, long-term growth and limited local resources have prompted the planning and construction of a major new supply source.