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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems


State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Water Quality Control Division

Colorado Water Resources & Power Development Authority

State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships


Colorado prioritizes projects that restructure and consolidate water systems to correct contamination issues or to assist systems unable to maintain SDWA compliance due to insubstantial financial and managerial capacity. Under the category of “Sustainability,” projects that consolidate or regionalize two or more PWSs are awarded 10 points. Several consolidations are included in the 2016 Project Eligibility List.


Colorado’s Capacity Development strategy includes the goal to: “develop a program that will support collaboration among all drinking water systems, assist those smaller systems understand their problems and potential solutions, and use performance based approaches to developing training.” This goal includes such activities as: free system training and the development of an excellence program for all systems. The excellence program encourages source water protection, distribution optimization, improved operations and maintenance, and includes incentives to examine and form partnerships. More information about additional resources and trainings can be found here:


Water system partnerships are fostered through Colorado’s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (CoWARN). CoWARN is a statewide network with a central purpose of preparing for emergency situations through “utilities helping utilities.” CoWARN provides water and wastewater utilities with a mutual aid agreement, mutual assistance program, resources to respond to and recover from disasters, and a growing network of emergency contacts. Additionally, there is a Joint Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee formed under the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association and the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association that helps facilitate partnerships between systems of all sizes. The committee works to share information to help systems prepare and respond to emergencies, and offers trainings in coordination with CoWARN.

Helpful Links to State Resources