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Family faces tough decision as water resources tap out in Southern Colorado

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (KRDO) —  Jessica Woelfel’s family is weighing whether or not they can continue living in their home of six years in Midway, south of Fountain, as affordable water options dry up.

“It’s forcing us out of our home," said Woelfel. "We’re going to have to move and we own this place. We’re kind of down to the last resort here."

Because her family doesn't live in Fountain City limits, they can’t receive Fountain City water. Because they don’t live in Pueblo, they can’t get a key for access to Pueblo water. The family says Wigwam utilities quoted them $50,000 for a new water tap and pipes to their home. Unable to afford that hefty bill, her household pays Koury Transport to truck in water from the Pueblo area at a rate of $85 per 1,000 gallons.

“We can only afford 2,000 gallons a month, so we spend about $170,“ said Woelfel. 

According to an estimate from the U.S. Department of Interior, the average American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day for indoor home uses. It means a family of three like the Woelfels, on average, uses more than 7,000 gallons of water per month.

Owner of Koury Transport, Grant Koury, says he does everything he can to keep costs low. But the business model factors in upfront water costs, rising fuel prices, heavy equipment, insurance, delivery, and labor fees.

Koury told 13 Investigates the company services 20 to 40 Midway-area homes twice a week. Each roundtrip takes about five hours. Koury says his business also faces limited water supply coupled with increasing demand.

“It’s sad because I have a 13-year-old daughter who lives with us and I have to tell her ‘no’ sometimes to getting a shower,“ said Woelfel.

Meanwhile, the Fountain Utilities Department is evaluating how it can accommodate thousands of new taps amid rapid development plans.

“Water, especially in the Front Range of Colorado is a very limited commodity,” said Dan Blankenship, the utility director for the City of Fountain.

The city of Fountain currently provides water to 8,700 taps. A recent study revealed a way to improve the water delivery system. City leaders are implementing a plan that would increase the number of available water taps in Fountain by 1,000 to 1,200.

“We have adequate supply to meet our current customers’ needs,” said Blankenship. “It’s just meeting the needs of those who want to develop the land.”

The Fountain Utilities Department calculated the demand for new water taps across all proposed development projects. It’s more than three times the current supply.

“We listed all of the development projects, and of course it would take a number of years for these developments to build out, but the total is almost 30,000 [taps],” said Blankenship.

A separate study expected to be complete in October is investigating alternative water sources to accommodate the growing demand. Meantime, Blankenship says there is no cap on water usage for Fountain residents. However, the city does promote a water conservation program.

It's not just water, either. Blankenship adds that Southern Colorado cities will have to figure out how to keep up with rising electric and gas demands as well.

Author Profile Photo

Lauren Barnas

Lauren is an anchor and MMJ for KRDO and 13 Investigates. Learn more about Lauren here.



  1. Space Force will bring more water to the area.

    Uh, Maybe not?


    Space Force will add to the Colorado shortage of water; and will only help the upper segments of our Colorado population.

    Sorry; you’re not ‘hip’, and ‘trendy’ with the New, Shiny, Colorado Springs area growth of water and resource consumption.

    Ooooh; Space Force! So shiny.

  2. Did the house have access to water 6 years ago? No you say, then why are you complaining now?

    1. Very good point. If they have never had a water tap and it sounds like they didn’t have a well either. So……….. Were they sold with the hope in the future that they would just be given a tap?
      Honestly the 50K could be an investment in the house because once they have solid water then the value should go up a lot. I bet they could get a loan/second to get the well and stay within the $170/mo budget they already spend to truck water in.

      1. @viral yeah cant drop a private well where they are apparently the two utility giants own the water and prevent people from getting to it.

    2. Bingo! Those properties in that area do not have water utilities, and most do not have rights to drill a well either. That was the case when they bought the properties, which were very cheap by the way. And now they are complaining that what they knowingly bought is inadequate. Kinda like buying a car that has no engine, then later complaining about how hard it is to push it everywhere.

  3. water is drying up in aquafers due to the MJ industry. I have friends who live in Calhan who are in the same boat, the water table is dropping due to the amount of water being soaked up by MJ farms. Funny how the dems are all about green this and green that but no one is looking at the amount of water and electricity MJ farms are using, they are a drain on our resources but God for bid we do anything to fix it.

    1. Not just water; so much electricity is used too. All these potheads running around yelling “save the planet” a bunch of ignorant folk. I regret voting in favor of this crap.

    2. hmmmm how much water does it take to keep making all the beer
      and other alcoholic beverages ??

    3. @wow really? mj farms? that’s what you think is draining the water? um HOW ABOUT THE POPULATION INCREASE?!?!?!?!? MORE PEOPLE MORE WATER USED…ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE DUDE.

  4. How about catch water and cisterns? It is a very valid option.

    1. Definitely a valid option, but non necessarily an affordable one, depending on the home and its location. Although I’m guessing they already have some sort of cistern if they’re able to accept quite large deliveries trucked in.

    2. Sure but folks don’t know about that.
      Barrels and gutters are all you need.

      1. Now you need to treat and filter said water before it is safe to drink. To much or to little chlorine and it can be harmful. If turbidity is off then you can grow cryptosprydium (sp?).

  5. That area around midway was developed many years ago-with NO water resource. Houses were super cheap, pretty much a place with no regulations. Everyone moving there new the risk and ya prices are going up as the resource becomes more scarce. Maybe the county should put a moretorium on water taps and permits. Maybe people should stop moving here

  6. Absolutely correct. There never has been a water source there so what’s new about this? And yes the cost of water is going up, like food and gas and anything else. If they own the property a home equity loan would be wise choice to install a well. Stop whining, you knew the deal with the cheap property when you purchased…that’s why it was so cheap!

    1. Most of them cannot legally put in a well. And they knew that when they bought the land.

  7. Most big breweries are located near water sources such as rivers or lakes, like clear creek, st vrain mississippi, great lakes etc. They aren’t sucking water out of aquifers, wells.

  8. I am not understanding why this is on the news. I am a resident out in that area but we live in the subdivision that has piped in water. We looked in her area before we moved out there and were told that we would have to pump in our water which is why we picked our subdivision. They have known thaf they needed to pump in their own water for years so why is it a huge issue now? She knew before she moved out there water would have to be brought in by them and she still bought the place and now she’s complaining? Sounds like someone made a bad decision and wants everyone else to bail her out.

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