From legal and social considerations to water-energy nexus evaluations
Colorado Springs Utilities (Utilities)—a 100-year community partner in electricity, natural gas, water, and wastewater—was planning for the future. They wanted to perform a holistic analysis of water resource risks, options, and strategies to use in long-range strategic planning, including the potential of serving as a regional water provider. Utilities brought us on board to run the study, and we looked at their water supply with elements of demand, quality, environmental protection, rates, financial planning, energy use, and public participation.
Utilities and our team spent a five-year period integrating management and technical experts. We supplemented their internal capabilities with additional technical resources, including decision support system expertise and a MODSIM simulation. With the help of 10 utility working groups, potential risks and vulnerabilities to water supply reliability were identified and prioritized.
In the end, we identified six key areas of focus, evaluated thousands of possible future scenarios, and helped develop a stakeholder outreach program. The analysis tracked vulnerabilities related to demand forecasts, infrastructure failure, hydrologic variability, and climate change. With all this information in their hands, Colorado Springs Utilities was better prepared to add to the quality of life for Pikes Peak Region.
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