To meet significant community challenges over the next twenty years, such as climate change, growth, aging infrastructure, and increasing regulations, yesterday afternoon Boise’s Public Works Department presented the Water Renewal Utility Plan to Boise City Council. Water Renewal Services, the city utility that oversees the collection and cleaning of over 30 million gallons per day of used water, currently releases all that highly treated water to the Boise River to flow downstream. The plan recommends major shifts in the way that the city will manage its water resources. Specifically, the plan proposes the following:
- Enhancing the health and uses of the Boise River through restoration projects and increased water renewal
- Reinvesting in the city’s existing infrastructure by repairing, replacing and upgrading crucial system components
- Supporting the city’s economy by establishing an industrial water reuse program
- Developing a recycled water program and aquifer recharge
- Adding two new water renewal facilities
- Creating new affordability programs and exploring new options to pay for system improvements
The city began an extensive planning process in 2015, working in tandem with the community to balance residents’ expectations of their water renewal services while keeping water renewal rates affordable. The city collected thousands of pieces of feedback from Boiseans, then coupled that with detailed technical, risk and financial analyses to narrow down the options. The presented plan provides the lowest-cost option while still meeting community values.
The community is encouraged to read the proposed Water Renewal Utility Plan and provide feedback here. There will be a public hearing on September 15th and Boise City Council is scheduled to vote on the plan October 13th.