Home & Municipal Use

According to the Colorado Division of Water Resources, municipal water use accounts for about 7% of water diverted from Colorado’s surface and groundwater sources. Municipal water suppliers—cities and regional utilities or water and sanitation districts—treat water to make it fit for drinking and deliver it to homes and businesses.

Treated municipal water is used for many different purposes: drinking, sanitation, landscape irrigation, as well as for fire protection and to supply public facilities and businesses. In some communities, water is recycled and treated to a lesser extent to be used for outdoor or industrial purposes. 

In many Colorado municipalities, per-capita water use has been decreasing. Colorado collects its own water use and conservation data through the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s (CWCB) Water Efficiency Data Portal and water efficiency plans. CWCB uses this data to estimate past and future water demands. According to the 2019 Technical Update to the Colorado Water Plan, statewide per capita water use is about 164 gpcd (down by nearly 5% from the 172 gpcd reported in the 2010 Statewide Water Supply Initiative).

The technical update projects statewide per capita demands are likely to continue decreasing even as populations increase. By 2050, statewide demand could reach as low as 143 gpcd, or 13% lower than in 2019, with even more savings possible on top of that.

During Colorado’s summers, lawns, trees and gardens consume the majority of water delivered to residences. In Colorado homes, while landscape irrigation historically accounted for more than half of annual domestic water use, overall household water use, with increased outdoor conservation measures, it is now is closer to 60% indoor use and 40% outdoor use. 

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