Project Management

PMI 2011 Project of the Year: Value Engineering Delivers Renewable Water For $200 Million Below Budget

Kevin Allen

A massive drought from 2002 to 2003 depleted the water supply in the city of Aurora, Colorado, USA to an all-time low, falling to just 26 percent of its total capacity. The city was left with a ninemonth supply of water for its citizens— far less than the three-to-five-year supply it prefers to keep. Officials decided to implement a project that would prevent future drought-related shortages.

In the interim, the city implemented a series of water controls, including restricting residents to watering their lawns only three days a week.

“With the forecast of future shortages, the urgency was to try and find a renewable water supply that we could bring online as quickly as possible,” says Larry Catalano, capital projects delivery manager for Aurora Water, Aurora, Colorado, USA.

The governmental utility agency conducted an analysis of 43 potential water supply alternatives. In August 2005, the Aurora City Council launched the Prairie Waters project, which called for construction of nearly 34 miles (55 kilometers) of 60-inch (1.5-meter) pipeline, four pump stations, a natural purification area and one of the world’s most technically advanced water-treatment facilities, handling 50 million gallons (189 million liters) per day.

what red tape?

Due to the initiative’s urgent nature, the city wasn’t willing to risk having it …

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