Colorado Springs Utilities' regional commitments
The Pueblo County 1041 Land Use Permit (also see Pueblo County 1041 Permit Terms and Conditions) requires that SDS mitigate construction and operation impacts, and provides protection for Fountain Creek, Pueblo Reservoir, landowners and Pueblo County residents.
The agreement includes a commitment for SDS to contribute $50 million for improvements to Fountain Creek administered through the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District. The contribution will be made in installments once the SDS pipeline begins delivering water to Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs Utilities also committed to invest an additional $75 million in its wastewater collection system rehabilitation programs or wastewater reuse systems through 2024. This money will be used to improve and fortify wastewater lines to minimize risks to Fountain Creek or its tributaries.
SDS investments in mitigation on Fountain Creek are being leveraged with additional state and local funding for more projects to improve and protect this important waterway, and to create a regional amenity for many communities to enjoy.
Pueblo County Construction Progress Summary
The Colorado Water Conservation Board and Colorado Wildlife Commission approved a Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Plan, which outlines projected impacts to fish and wildlife, and provides a blueprint to address those impacts.
Fountain Creek is an essential component of Colorado Springs’ water infrastructure, and we have a responsibility to help maintain it. A tremendous amount of work has been done over the past decade to improve, protect and transform Fountain Creek.
In many cases, SDS' planned mitigation will improve the creek's health over current conditions. SDS has committed to spending more than $145 million to benefit Fountain Creek and has already invested $32.4 million of that prior to construction being concluded. See chart below for full list:
Find out more about Fountain Creek improvements
Click here to see a video on the Fountain Creek improvements
Fountain Creek Fact Sheet
Colorado Springs Utilities has built new wetlands at Clear Spring Ranch to restore Fountain Creek’s banks, provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality.
In September 2011, Colorado Spring Utilities and some 65 volunteers from Southern Colorado created a new wetland at Clear Spring Ranch, a property located on Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and Fountain. A combination of more than 4,500 plants, shrubs and trees were planted and more work is planned. Once established, the wetland will help restore and stabilize the banks of Fountain Creek – providing additional habitat for wildlife and improving water quality by reducing erosion along the streambed.
In addition to wetland mitigation, Colorado Springs Utilities plans to realign and add curves to a stretch of the creek to slow down flows and help reduce erosion.
Conservation has been an integral part of what Colorado Springs Utilities has done for more than 60 years. We began using meters to conserve water in the 1940s, long before it was standard practice. We pioneered the use of treated wastewater for irrigation in the 1960s. We opened our award-winning Xeriscape™ Demonstration Garden in the 1990s. And our 1996 Water Resource Plan identifies conservation as one of four primary components for meeting future water needs.
We’re proud of our conservation efforts and what they’ve accomplished. Our per capita residential water use is among the lowest along Colorado’s Front Range. Our community used 5 billion gallons less water in 2007 than in 2001, despite a 10 percent increase in population. Our customers’ conservation efforts in recent years already have allowed us to delay the cost of building a new water delivery system by several years.