The Denver Metropolitan Area’s second largest city has grown rapidly, and has plenty of land available for future expansion. In recent decades, however, Aurora’s water use has not increased nearly as rapidly as its population, as water customers have become much more efficient in response to rising prices, proactive conservation efforts, and other factors. To prioritize its infrastructure investments for the future, Aurora needed better demand projections that could account for increasing customer efficiency and recognize the inherent uncertainty in forecasting more than 50 years in the future.
As part of Aurora’s Integrated Water Management Plan consulting team (led by MWH Global), Mr. Jeavons directed BBC’s detailed analysis of water use trends by customer type, quantification of factors affecting water use, and development of long-term demand projections. BBC developed a probabilistic demand forecasting model for Aurora, which explicitly recognized and quantified the uncertainties inherent in long-term projections of water use intensity and economic and demographic forecasts. BBC also provided disaggregated forecasts of future water demands for more than 200 subareas within the overall Aurora Water service area to assist the City with distribution and treatment planning.
Deeper Understanding: Surveys of single family residential customers and econometric analysis of water use data over the past two decades helped identify and quantify the factors that have led to increasing water use efficiency. Coupled with an analysis of remaining conservation potential by our teammates Maddaus Water Management, this information helped identify how much more conservation savings Aurora can anticipate in the future.
Enhanced Credibility: Municipal demand projections can be a source of tension between utility water resource managers, who are primarily concerned with making sure supplies are sufficient for the future, and utility finance managers, who worry about overestimating future demands and building more infrastructure than needed. The new demand projections helped to bridge these gaps in Aurora.
Prioritized Investment Plans: Using the new demand projections, our teammate MWH Global worked with Aurora to prioritize future capital improvement plans and identify an adaptive management plan for modifying those plans as the future unfolds.