How to Save Water And Money – A Case Study

A Denver-area HOA partnered with Terracare Associates to save water and money for the community. 


Water, our precious commodity. When it rains, we may not think of the need to reduce water usage. Many commercial properties managers and communities in the western United States are engaging in tough conversations around water usage. Years of water restrictions and droughts are becoming more common. Conserving water and creating sustainable and environmentally friendly water features – even during rainier years – is a growing priority.


Commercial site managers, and municipalities and special districts are faced with tough decisions including property or area aesthetics, costs, and technology. It’s important to find the right balance between incorporating sustainable plants while also identifying and determining the most efficient and effective irrigation system technology. The irrigation system has to work effectively and instantly to make sure the landscape remains beautiful and pristine while only using water when needed.

Water cascading into a pond at Arapahoe Lakes

The goal?

Cut water use costs, lower the amount of water used, and create a more sustainable landscape.


The Arapahoe Lakes community and homeowners association (HOA) was faced with this dilemma. Situated in the South Metro Denver area of Colorado, the community encompasses a couple hundred family homes, a lake, a playground and a several miles of greenbelt walkways.


In 2009, the Arapahoe Lakes community and HOA wanted to take a proactive approach to being more responsible stewards of water – the community wanted to reduce water and cut costs. Arapahoe Lakes HOA turned to Terracare Associates – TCA, who had been a trusted and credible partner to Arapahoe Lake’s board members for more than 15 years, to help troubleshoot a solution.


The Solution

The solution included three players – Terracare Associates, Arapahoe Lakes HOA, and Denver Water. As Terracare Associates and Arapahoe Lakes HOA worked to develop an efficient and effective solution, Denver Water was also running a rebate incentive at the same time. Denver Water’s rebate program, the Irrigation Efficiency Agreement, provided payments to customers for water savings achieved as a result of making irrigation efficiency upgrades and/or landscape changes. Terracare Associates and Arapahoe Lakes HOA decided to maximize financial savings through both water usage and the rebate program. Arapahoe Lakes HOA received financial incentives on material costs associated with upgrading the irrigation system to include smart irrigation controllers and commercial irrigation high-efficiency or rotary nozzles.


The Results

Over five years, from 2010 to 2014, the Arapahoe Lakes HOA saved more than 9.3 million gallons in water, at a savings of more than $106,000. That’s huge!


Interested in learning more about how Terracare Associates can help you and your team manage your property? Drop us a note.


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