water trends

Common Water Challenges

► Rapidly Increasing Water Demands due to Population Growth

► Supply Gap and Uncertainty: new water demands compounded with climate change and river / compact calls impacting existing yields

► Competitive Water Markets – Demand > Supply: more buyers in the marketplace than sellers

► Developer vs. Utility Risk Profile Disconnect: managing development in light of any existing and new financial challenges that may arise

► Cash in Lieu Programs: program development and pricing methodology

► Project Delays and Surrounding Environmental / Legal Uncertainties

► Limited Financial Capabilities and Access to Capital

► Available Staffing and Expertise

Trends & Data

Population Growth Between 2010 and 2020, Colorado added nearly one million new residents, marking a 15% increase in population. In the same timeframe, Colorado ranked 5th among the nation’s highest population growth, while overall growth across the country slowed dramatically. Most of the growth was centered along the Front Range with Weld County and Broomfield showing the largest gains of 30% and 32%, respectively.  Notably, the Greeley metro area was ranked #4 among the fastest growing metropolitans in the entire nation and Front Range housing is more than 90% full, with Boulder County and Weld County at 94% and 95% occupancy, respectively.

Colorado State Demographer By 2050, Colorado is forecasted to add another 2 million to the State’s population.

Concerning Trends Northern Colorado housing starts up 15-20% over 2017 levels.  Water Rights are valued are at an all-time high, and steadily increasing alongside continued pressure on current supplies from a 20-year drought affecting the entire region, evidenced by a first ever water shortage declaration in the Colorado River Basin and multiple recent “calls” on the Yampa River (historically, not an issue). Drought planning initiatives has been identified in the Colorado Water Plan and drought contingency plans are currently under discussion. Rebounding oil prices put additional pressure on available water resources.