Supplying safe drinking water and treating wastewater are two of the basic services local governments provide. Department staff can assist communities in addressing the range of water and wastewater problems they often face, from deteriorating distribution lines to inadequate budgeting and accounting practices. Additionally, department staff is available to coordinate Financial and Management Assistance, Emergency Assistance, and Drought Management.
Financial Management and Management Assistance
Sound finances and management of a system is central to preventing or solving problems. Good administrative practices may free up cash needed for improvements and help secure funding. The Department of Local Affairs can help local governments strengthen budgeting and general financial management. Department staff is also available to assist with:
- Analysis of needs and help establish priorities
- Developing capital improvements programs
- Analyze and restructure rates for user and tap fees
- Coordinate with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other state and federal agencies
- Provide and discuss the following publications concerning matters related to water and wastewater systems:
- Explore intergovernmental agreements
- Conduct training workshops
There are a number of potential funding sources available to local governments to make needed improvements to water and wastewater systems. Staff can help coordinate project funding among various programs, and help evaluate options for private financing through municipal bonds, contracting for services, or "privatization." In addition, staff can help local officials explore suitable government grant and loan sources including:
- State Revolving Loan Funds, which provide below-market rate loans from the Colorado Water Resources & Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) to qualifying entities for water and wastewater treatment system improvements.
- State Revolving Fund (SRF) Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Detailed State Revolving Fund program information administered by CDPHE
- U.S.D.A. Rural Development and low interest loans to rural communities.
- Community Development Block Grants for low to moderate income populations.
- Energy Impact Assistance Program grants and low interest loans to areas affected by energy or mineral development.
- Colorado Water Conservation Board loans for raw water storage and transmission.
The Department can provide and coordinate technical and financial assistance to communities faced with health hazards which arise from sudden, unplanned circumstances, such as floods or freezing. The Department also works with the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) in implementing portions of the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.
The Department co-chairs the Municipal Water Supply Task Force which can be activated under the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan (PDF). Ongoing drought and water supply monitoring is conducted by the Water Availability Task Force. If your community's water system is impacted by drought conditions, department staff can assist in coordinating a solution.
Explore the division's public documents, data, and information in the Local Government Information System.