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Loveland Water Supply Yield Modeling
Client: City of Loveland, Colorado
Water Supply Planning and Development - Water Rights Yield Analysis, Water Rights Operations Modeling
Since 1988, SWE has served as the City of Loveland Utilities Department consulting engineer regarding water rights matters and water supply planning. The City of Loveland is located along the Big Thompson River, a tributary of the South Platte River in northern Colorado. The City provides potable water to a population of approximately 63,000. The City's water supply is derived from the Big Thompson River pursuant to water rights for the native supply and contracts for transmountain water delivered to the Big Thompson River from the Colorado River basin through the facilities of the Colorado-Big Thompson ("CBT") Project and the Windy Gap Project

SWE has assisted the City of Loveland in its water supply planning efforts in order to ensure the City has an adequate water supply to meet the future water demands of its citizens. As part of this planning effort, SWE analyzed and modeled the City's raw water supply system and water rights to simulate the integrated yield of the City's various water sources. The model was developed in order to estimate the reliable or firm yield of the City's current water supply and to estimate the increase in the City's firm yield that would result from possible acquisition of various Big Thompson River and transmountain water sources, or development of additional raw water storage. The model is a multi-page Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that simulates the daily raw water supply yield over the period from 1951 through 2006. The Model is based on historical records of the various Big Thompson River irrigation systems and the CBT Project. Loveland's pro-rata share of the historical diversion records and simulated Windy Gap Project yields are computed based on ownership information. Other inputs include Loveland's annual potable water demand, downstream non-potable water demand, and upstream and downstream raw water storage capacity.

Along with developing and operating the complex model, SWE analyzed the historical virgin flows (i.e. the flow that would have existed but for the operation of the CBT and Windy Gap Projects) of the Big Thompson and Colorado Rivers to assess the frequency and magnitude of droughts affecting Loveland's raw water supply. This work was performed to ensure that the water supply planning was done in a manner that conforms with the City's 100-year drought supply policy.
Water Supply Planning and Development 

Spronk Water Engineers, Inc.
1000 N Logan Street
Denver, Colorado, 80203-3011
Phone: (303) 861-9700  |  Fax: (303) 861-9799