Water Renewal Utility Plan

Water Renewal Services is the city’s utility responsible for renewing more than 10 billion gallons of used water (commonly known as wastewater) per year. From the shower to the kitchen sink and toilet, from homes to businesses, large industry to hospitals and schools, every drop of used water travels through some of the more than 900 miles of underground pipes to one of two water renewal facilities.

Since 1949, all Boise's used water has been cleaned to a high level, then put in the Boise River just to flow downstream and out of our community. Seeing on the horizon changing water regulations, rate affordability, the condition of our infrastructure, the capacity in our system and the impacts of climate change, in 2017, the city began an effort to consider what our water future could look like if we prioritized local-level solutions, planned for water scarcity and balanced the values of our diverse and ever-growing community.

The Water Renewal Utility Plan is the result of that effort, integrating thousands of pieces of public input, technical evaluations, and comprehensive analyses of the regulatory, affordability and environmental implications for the future of how we collect, clean, and recycle water in our community.

The Water Renewal Utility Plan was approved by Boise City Council on October 13, 2020.

Download the Water Renewal Utility Plan

Why do we Need a Utility Plan?

Like any business, a long-term plan is key to success. While we are federally mandated to have a plan, to us it’s more than a requirement. It’s a way to look ahead and set a strategic direction for our Water Renewal Services and at its core is designed to answer these questions:

Infrastructure Condition

How will we ensure the infrastructure that safely cleans our water and protects our public health remains in proper condition?

Capacity

How will we meet the increased needs of our community as we continue to grow, and new regulations reduce efficiency?

Regulatory Requirements & Climate Change

How do we plan for known and unknown federal and state water quality mandates? How do we adapt our utility in response to a changing climate?

Community Expectations

Do we only meet the minimum required by law or rise to meet the environmental priorities of our community? How do we balance this with rate affordability?

Clarifiers

Next Steps

The city will now work to create a financial model that balances affordability, equity and community expectations to fund the significant capital expenses. The increased upgrades, new facilities and increased capacity will cost between $890 million and $1.3 billion over the next 20 years. The city will be gathering public input and conducting financial analysis over the next several months and will be back in front of Boise City Council this Spring with information about the potential impacts to rates for businesses and residents and provide recommendations for funding options

Learn More About the Plan

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