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Interagency Collaboration for Conservation

CAP Management is partaking in interagency collaboration with the City and County of Denver, Denver Water and representatives of other private sector organizations to determine how water conservation can be a part of the development process in Denver.


When it comes to the conservation of natural resources, there is often debate. Some debate can certainly be healthy as it is important to consider the variety of perspectives that exist on any one issue. When it comes to water consumption in the semi-arid Denver area, however, there are some important facts that are clear. First, Denver and its suburbs are growing. Whether it is by attracting young professionals looking for work in a fun and lively city or older adults who are looking to relocate to a more fair-weather environment, additional stress is being imposed on municipal water supply more and more each year. Second, the threat of water shortage created by drought and the need to use progressively more water on fighting wildfire in Colorado adds additional stress. No matter how you look at it, liberal use of water for maintaining blue grass turf and other wasteful actions can no longer be tolerated as it was in Denver circa 1960. So what can be done?

It has been argued that the development code in Denver and nearby communities is not supportive of water conservation. This is because it is too easy to cut corners and rely on thirsty blue grass to meet landscaping requirements. Knowing this, and knowing that water consumption habits must be changed given the pressures on municipal water supply mentioned above, the City hosted a group of professionals to discuss how they, and all interested parties, can do better in the development process. This high-level interagency collaboration is the first step in setting the path for urban development to be more sustainable. At the table during this meeting were representatives of Denver Water, perhaps the most interested party, a senior planner for and the Deputy Director of the Denver office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), a planner for the Auraria Campus, private sector homeownership represented by CAP Management, and private sector landscaping executives.

The dialogue was very productive. Considerations such as potential xeriscaping requirements, landscape maintenance procedures, collaboration between municipal departments, private agendas of influential individuals, form vs. function and even the urban heat island effect were all discussed. Perhaps some changes thereto could provide for more appropriate landscaping following the construction of homes and businesses in the Denver area. The City does have its water conservation goals, as does Denver Water, and landscapers and HOA managers could all benefit from changes to development codes and maintenance. Therefore, everyone at the table could benefit and all are committed to seeing some changes being realized. Some municipal rules and regulations are simply outdated.

This meeting was only the beginning of what is likely to be a lengthy – but meaningful and productive – process. Continue to monitor our blog posts to stay up to date on this and other CAP Management happenings. Also friend us on Facebook to receive updates on important advancements with our company as they happen: