How much do you know about the water you use in your house? The tap or faucet is
turned and water almost magically appears. It is such a common part of our lives we don’t
often spend a lot of time thinking about the marvel of clean, abundant water.
In the Ranch, we get our water from Forest View Acres Water District. It is a special
district that was established in 1957. As a special district, (Read about Special Water Districts.)
FVAWD can charge a mill levy on property values and sell bonds for the operation of the district in addition to the
fees charged for supplying water services. The water district is governed by a five member
board that is publicly elected. It serves approximately 300 households. An interesting fact,
only about 5% of water in a water public system is used for drinking and cooking.
Water quality in FVAWD is monitored and regulated by the state of Colorado and water
quality reports from each year is available on the FVAWD website. Water quality is very good
according to state testing.
This brings up an interesting condition of living in the Ranch and being served by
FVAWD. There aren’t a lot of customers but the water district still needs to meet the same
requirements as a larger supplier of water such as Denver Water. The costs of operating are
spread over a small pool of homes. In 2012, FVAWD undertook much needed repairs and
upgrades to the water system that we all use. Money was borrowed, grants were acquired,
and fees went up some also. Some of the fees we pay are a result of the infrastructure
upgrades that needed attention from 1957 when the water district was formed. Those fees will
be with us for as long as we wash clothes, take showers, and put water in our drinks.
At this time, the FVAWD board estimates it will need up to another $5 million dollars in
the next five years to maintain and upgrade the system we have now. This is an expected cost
without the addition of any new homes in the Ranch area. The board is looking for ways to
come up with the necessary funds without resorting to selling bonds to cover the cost. (The
proposed new development will be required to pay for any addition to the FVAWD
infrastructure as a condition of being added to the system.)
The board states that there is adequate water supply in the district at this time, even
with addition of more homes. Their concern is with the aging pipes and pumping system and
how to best pay for upkeep and repairs so that we all have the water we have come to expect.
This author attended the January water board meeting. It is my impression that from a
strictly business stand point, the FVAWD board feels the new development is a financial benefit
and brings with it the addition of more secured water rights for the district as well as more
customers to cover the cost of operations.