Colorado community completes major water acquisition

DOUGLAS COUNTY, CO, Dec. 7, 2009 -- The city councils of Aurora and Brighton and the board of directors of Dominion Water and Sanitation District have approved agreements that will provide renewable augmentation water needed for the first several years of households and businesses built on Sterling Ranch...

• An agreement between Aurora, Brighton and Dominion Water and Sanitation allows easier access to additional water for all parties

DOUGLAS COUNTY, CO, Dec. 7, 2009 -- The city councils of Aurora and Brighton and the board of directors of Dominion Water and Sanitation District have approved agreements that will provide renewable augmentation water needed for the first several years of households and businesses built on Sterling Ranch, a planned 3,120-acre mixed use community in northwest Douglas County. The agreement will also provide water to be shared with neighboring homes on declining wells.

In an example of regional cooperation, Dominion Water and Sanitation District and the cities of Aurora and Brighton came to the table to find more efficient and less costly ways to deliver water to their residents and customers. Dominion is the district that will provide water to Sterling Ranch.

"It's truly a win-win-win for everyone," said Sterling Ranch managing director Harold Smethills. "The trade really shows that Dominion is moving forward in providing renewable water for future Sterling Ranch residents and businesses, as well as figuring out innovative ways to help secure water to share with our neighbors."

Dominion worked with the cities to arrange a series of transactions that works to the benefit of the cities of Brighton and Aurora. Under the agreement, each entity improves its water position, with Sterling Ranch developing a reliable renewable water supply for its future residents and neighbors.

"The past was each of us working on our own; the future is teamwork," said Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer. "This deal means 'Welcome to the future.'"

"This trade actually began last year," Smethills said. "We had told the Douglas County Planning Commission that we would begin purchasing water when the Chatfield Basin received urban designation and we began that process. Since securing new sources of renewable water takes time, we have several other water transactions in various stages of completion, as we continue to work with Douglas County on our zoning approval."

The Sterling Ranch master plan development was formally submitted to Douglas County for its official zoning application in February 2009. The proposed mixed-use development encompasses 3,120 acres in northwest Douglas County -- the single largest remaining undeveloped parcel in Chatfield Basin that overlooks Chatfield State Park.

Sterling Ranch will be a water-wise community whose plan represents a fundamental shift in water conservation and will be the first land use plan to incorporate water wise development. This system will provide attractive landscaping while using a fraction of the water needed for traditional landscaping.

For more details on Sterling Ranch, visit: www.sterlingranchcolorado.com.

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