Did Katy Perry predict our customers’ water consumption?

The pop icon’s 2008 song lyrics had remarkable insight on recent water use and temperature patterns.

August 23, 2017 | By: Steve Snyder

Ever pay attention to the lyrics from Katy Perry’s hit, “Hot n Cold?” Even though she wrote the song nearly a decade ago, it turns out she may have had real insight into some recent trends we’ve observed in temperature and corresponding water use.

It's like Katy Perry gazed into the future to predict Denver Water customers' water use when she wrote the lyrics to "Hot n Cold."
It’s like Katy Perry gazed into the future to predict Denver Water customers’ water use when she wrote the lyrics to “Hot n Cold.” Photo courtesy of Ali Shaker/VOA, Wikimedia Commons.

“Cause you’re hot then you’re cold

You’re yes then you’re no

You’re in then you’re out

You’re up then you’re down.”

Are we stretching it a bit? Perhaps, but after being doggone hot in the month of July, some people might have felt a bit cold with August’s temperature dip. The average high temperature in the first half of August was the second lowest (82.1 degrees) since Denver Water started keeping records in 1949.

And our customers’ water use has aligned accordingly. Up, then down, as Ms. Perry so eloquently put it.

“Water use in July was the highest since July 2008,” said Lindsay Weber, senior demand planner at Denver Water. “And we only received 75 percent of our normal precipitation. But things changed significantly in August.”

How significantly?

“We saw measurable rainfall nearly every day in our service area and below-normal temperatures for the first half of the month,” said Mitch Horrie, also a senior demand planner. “This combination typically means a significant reduction in water use.”

As of Aug. 17, our customers were using 16 percent less water than they normally do this time of year.

So what has this meant for lawn watering this summer? Take it, Katy: You’re yes then you’re no.

“Our customers have received the message about letting Mother Nature do the work,” Horrie said. “When it’s raining almost every day, you don’t need to turn your sprinkler system on.”

Here’s another tip: When you do water your lawn again, dial back the amount of time you’ve been watering from earlier in the summer. The days are shorter, and the temperatures are milder. Plus, your lawn isn’t growing like it was in May and June.

After all, you know what they say about growing season — you’re in then you’re out.

No? Nobody says that? Ok, so not every line in the chorus works for our purposes.

And of course, Colorado weather can change rather quickly, so we may do further research into Perry’s songs to see if she has more insight into our next weather pattern. But we’ll try to stay away from the dancing sharks.

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