The Key to Site Selection

Already, the average rate and cost to access the water infrastructure has increased more than two percent annually over the past 5 years – roughly a ten percent increase over that period. With several municipalities installing a time of day or time of year rate structure where there is a stepped up rate for historically high use time periods, the total costs of occupancy is impacting the developers’ ability to make economic sense out of a project, while restricting the ability to find quality credit tenants that don’t have a national or regional financial backing. With different water districts, you can find a big swing in not only the monthly rate structures but also the tap, plant investment and raw water fees.

In Fort Collins, there are three service providers and in comparing the cost to install a two-inch tap, there may be as much as a 30% differential between providers, which could equate to a six-figure difference for the project. Flash forward. On average, Colorado receives twenty inches of precipitation every year (most in the form of snow).Of this amount, roughly two-thirds of this water is contracted to other states through interstate contracts, leaving only one-third for local use. To complicate the matter for us living on the Front Range, 80% of that precipitation flows West, while80% of the population lives on the Eastern slope. This leads us to the issue of demand.

For the Census period 2010 to 2018 Colorado has seen an increase in population of 13.2% with projections that many municipalities will double in size by 2050. The inevitable conclusion is that demand will exceed supply soon. Some estimates say this will happen sooner than 2050, while others predict that it aligns with the doubling population. Should we continue on this current trajectory, the price of water will increase dramatically, and access to water may not be available in some areas.. So as they say…’da-nile’ ain’t just a river in Egypt! We know that water is an essential element to life, and it is the responsibility of all users, be it municipalities, service providers, business owners, or real estate developers, to ensure future access to this precious resource.

In working with local planners and service providers, and embracing social and environmental development practices for both new and existing inventory we can work to ensure that this vital resource is available for future generations. – Todd Parker Director of Development

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