Your water rates may go up next year… but not by very much

In order to fund extra projects, Denver Water will increase usage rates.
2 min. read
Mamie Henry sqeeze water out of a rag as Welton Street Cafe’s dinner rush fades. May 8, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The Denver Board of Water Commissioners agreed on Wednesday to raise water rates and fixed monthly charges, which will all go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

For typical single-family residences using the same amount of water each year, this would shake out to an increase of 47 cents to $1.34 per month, or about $5.64 to $16.08 per year. However, these rates are also dependent on where in the Denver metro a customer lives, since rates are higher in the suburbs due to the rules of the Denver City Charter.

There are also multiple charging tiers at Denver Water, beginning with the lowest rates for water used for essential things like bathing and cooking, calculated by assessing water consumption during the winter. Other water usage, mainly for outdoor watering in the summer, is charged at higher tiers.

Denver Water is funding upgrades through these extra charges. These projects include expanding the Gross Reservoir near Boulder to increase storage capacity during wet years and boosting the entire system's resilience as climate change leads to more unpredictable weather patterns. Other projects include the city's efforts to replace old lead-containing pipes (also the reason why you may have received a mysterious Brita pitcher and filter in the mail), as well as the city's creation of new water quality laboratories and treatment centers.

Correction: This story was updated to clarify the average rate increase. 

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