More people in the Grand Valley and Mesa County means a greater demand for basic amenities, including emergency services and something that's treated like gold in Colorado -- water.
The growth prediction numbers in terms of population for Mesa County are staggering; by 2025, more than 220-thousand people are expected to call Mesa County home, a 93-percent increase since 2000. The good news is that service providers in the county began to prepare for this some time ago.
Water is a constant topic in Western Colorado and while agencies constantly stress conservation, more people means more water use.
The Ute Water Conservancy District, who serves much of the Grand Valley, currently has roughly 75-thousand customers. However, by 2025 Ute is expecting those numbers to jump to 110-thousand and exceed the 200-thousand customer mark by 2045. Ute has been working since 1995 on acquiring reservoirs and expanding existing sites for places to store water, so there's not a shortage several years down the road.
Ute is also spending millions of dollars every year to upgrade their 1,000 miles of water pipes in the valley and are looking to make the population of rural areas as painless as possible.