But why should Denver Water customers care? Sure we’ve seen our share of droughts in recent years, but right now our water supply is in pretty good shape. And Denver Water has had rules in place for years to help customers use water efficiently, and they have responded. We are trying to make water efficiency a way of life here in Colorado.
Make no mistake, Colorado and California are deeply connected when it comes to water use. In fact, Colorado and California are two of seven western states that rely heavily on the Colorado River for their water supply. It’s all because of the Colorado River Compact. (We have created our own simple summary of the Colorado River compact here.)
So even though we’re not facing the same restrictions as California, the ongoing drought demands our attention — and our action.
“We were extremely fortunate that the areas in the Colorado River Basin that supply water to our system saw near-normal snowpack levels this year,” said Denver Water CEO/Manager Jim Lochhead. “But we can’t be complacent. Recent history has shown us we are highly susceptible to drought as well.
“Not only do we have to plan for our own water supply, but we have to work with other states in the Colorado River Basin to find solutions to the water supply problems we all share.”
Denver Water is working with California and other states to reduce demand on the Colorado River through a program called the Colorado River System Conservation Program. It’s yet another way Colorado and California are connected in their water use.
So the next time you read about water restrictions in California, falling lake levels in Utah or lawn removal incentives in Las Vegas, understand that those water issues affect Coloradans and Denver Water customers in some way. We truly are all connected.