Rapid population growth creates challenges for Front Range communities

Front Range Region

Click here to meet our Front Range Stakeholder Advisory Committee

The Denver Metro area is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation according to Forbes.  The area is expected to grow by nearly 3 million people by 2040 for a population of 7.7 million people.  The area also serves as an important financial hub for the Western U.S.  The Front Range is a semi-arid region averaging less than 15 inches of rainfall a year.  The area water supply is supported through transfers from the Western Slope.  But as focus on limited capacity of the Colorado River grows, the Front Range communities realize they need to consider catchment of water in the urban system.

Climate change is not only causing extended droughts but also increasing flood risk in this region.  The Front Range has experienced devastating floods in recent years, including the 1,000-year event in September 2013 where flood conditions spread nearly 150 miles along the Front Range stretching from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.

Recent regulatory initiatives are focusing on nutrient levels in streams impacting water reclamation facilities. Stormwater management to protect water quality, increase flood resiliency and reinforce water supply resiliency is critical in this region.  The institutional challenges from Western Water laws create governance challenges for Front Range Communities.

Stakeholder Engagement

UWIN stakeholder engagement activities focus on learning from challenges facing local water communities in order to inform ongoing research, while providing tools and information to communities to further their sustainable water programs.

Meet the Front Range Stakeholder Advisory Committee here.

Upcoming Events

Project Collaborator Training – August 1, Colorado State University, Ft Collins

Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting – August 2, Colorado State University, Ft Collins

UWIN Annual Meeting – August 3-5, Colorado State University, Ft Collins