Water and Wastewater

Project 7 Water Authority Program

Through Garver’s extensive program management services, we’ve helped the region develop a resilient water supply to provide safe and clean water to six different communities

The Project 7 Water Authority is the principal water supplier in the Uncompahgre River Valley, serving customers in six different communities. Project 7 hopes to develop available water rights in the Uncompahgre River and impounded in the Ridgway Reservoir to complement its current supply from the Gunnison River and to provide more resilient service to its customers. This new water supply source is up-watershed, but very similar in quality to that of the Gunnison River. In the coming years, the Project 7 Water Authority will be the program manager overseeing the complete development and implementation of a more resilient water supply and delivery program. This program will provide an affordable, efficient, and life- and economy- sustaining water supply in the valley for generations to come. 

Managing this program and each of its project components is a significant additional workload for a Project 7 staff that is already very lean. Under a task order-based contracting mechanism, Project 7 hired Garver to be their owner’s advisor in developing and implementing the program. As an owner’s advisor, we’re continuing to provide a variety of services customized to augment and complement the skills, tools, and resources that Project 7 is already providing their community. 

The program will include two large project elements: a 6 MGD greenfield WTP with high-rate softening downstream of the Ridgway Reservoir and 12 miles of 24-inch raw unfinished waterline that will tie into Project 7’s existing transmission system.  

For the Ridgway Water Treatment Plant, we developed control plans for process piloting and performance, as well as a pilot management plant that included relevant design criteria, implementation plans, communications protocol, pilot schedule, pilot sampling protocol, data management plan, and pilot team members and roles. To determine the best fit, we analyzed several alternatives for the main treatment facility, ultimately selecting high-rate softening as the preferred treatment alternative.  

For the pipeline portion of the program, we completed a conceptual design that included a map book with property owners and other affiliations for proposed and temporary easements. This map book was used to complete NEPA’s environmental assessment, finalize route alignment, and develop easement acquisitions. Our team also conducted field reviews of the six-mile corridor to determine mitigation strategies for any constraints, coordinating with both Ouray and Montrose County and with CDOT.  

As part of our hydraulic modeling support, we calibrated a regional system hydraulic model and evaluated alternative ways to convey drinking water from the WTP to the existing system. We also conducted a system optimization review that focused on water supply resiliency. This was completed as part of a Bureau of Reclamation Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) grant obtained by Garver.  

Our program management services have continued to support Project 7 through design-build procurement, financial planning, grant and loan assistance, community outreach, and stakeholder engagement. Using a conceptual design, we applied for a title 16 through the Bureau of Reclamation, which would result in a $30M grant and completed a WIFIA loan application, of which we’re in the process of negotiating terms.  

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Jeff Sober, PE

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Jeff Sober, PE

Director of Water Services

Get in Touch!

Jeff Sober, PE


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