Water Related

Environmental Indicators

Water-related emissions stem from energy used to treat drinking water and wastewater. Although these processes are responsible for less than 1% of emissions, conserving water is important for the climate and local waterways and habitats. By conserving water, Fort Collins residents can help support our local economy, prepare for climate change, support our local waterways and help the community reach its Climate Action and Water Efficiency goals.

Water Related Emissions

Water Related Measures

The following measures are categorized as direct or indirect. Direct measures track data used to calculate carbon emissions. Indirect measures show community trends that may impact carbon emissions but are not directly tied to carbon calculations. Some measures are not evaluated against a target and are simply informational. This is indicated when the status bar is gray instead of green, yellow, or red.





Direct Measures
Community Water Use per Capita per Day (gallons)
Community water use is measured in gallons per capita per day. This metric is calculated by dividing the total annual water use of all customers in the water utility service area by the service area population and 365 days. As indicted, this metric only pertains to the Utilities’ service area, which only serves about 70 percent of the City. Note that water use is highly dependent on weather, and while a single year’s result is an important indicator, the trend over several years is more indicative of changes in water use.
Indirect Measures
Community Water Use (in acre feet/year)
The City’s annual water demand illustrates community water use, which impacts the amount of energy use for treating water and water conservation efforts. This is calculated by the amount of water (measured in acre feet) leaving the Utilities water treatment plant after treatment. Lower water demand is a positive outcome.
Water Production Energy Efficiency (kWh/day/million gallons)
This measures the amount of kilowatt-hours electricity used per day by the Water Treatment Facility to produce 1 million gallons of water. The lower the kWh, the more the treatment process is energy efficient. The source of this data is Fort Collins Utilities.
Wastewater Treatment Energy Efficiency (kWh/million gallons)
This metric tracks monthly average kilowatt-hours (kWh) used per million gallons of wastewater treated at both the Mulberry and Drake Water Reclamation Facilities. The goal is to monitor, trend, plan, and reduce energy consumption on an annual basis. Efficient processes help lower the amount of electricity needed for wastewater treatment, which reduces emissions.
Overall Water Conservation Program Effectiveness (million gallons/year)
Annual savings in gallons is calculated by estimating the water use avoided by customers who participate in water conservation programs and services. For example, a customer may have had a 3.5 gallon per flush (gpf) toilet and then received a rebate for replacing it with a 0.8 gpf toilet, so we can estimate the difference in annual water use. For other programs we analyze water use data to estimate savings. “Savings” means avoided water use; in the absence of the water conservation programs and services, that water would have otherwise been used by customers.

Water Related Initiatives

Initiatives are projects, programs, and positions that the Fort Collins City Council has funded through its budgeting process. Those shown here have a direct impact on water related emissions.
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Co-Gen at Drake Wastewater Reclamation Facility

This project will work in partnership with other city departments and Woodward to design, procure, construct, and operate 2 Co-Gen units and 1 gas conditioning system.  Once operational, the infrastructure will enable the Drake Water Reclamation Facility to convert biogas generated from Anaerobic Digestion to beneficial on-site use for heat and energy needs.

Delays are being experienced due to project re-design and the reestablishment of design teams. The genset design and new project estimates are currently being worked on. 

Last updated:

  • Description - July 2019
  • Status - July 2019


Micro-Hydro Technology Upgrade at the Water Treatment Facility

The Fort Collins Water Treatment Facility recently completed a project to install a turbine to generate energy from water entering the treatment facility, replacing the previous system that slowed the flow of water, wasting the potential energy of the incoming stream. The new turbine has a capacity of 79 kW, and will produce approximately 550 Megawatt-hours of electricity per year. It  covers between 20-25% of the facility’s electricity, reduces emissions, and reduces operating costs. The turbine came online in April 2019.

Last updated:

  • Status - July 2019
  • Description - July 2019