Get ready for next year’s watering season now

Plans made this fall can reduce your outdoor water use next year, which will be critically important as drought spreads across Colorado.

October 2, 2020 | By: Cathy Proctor
Low-water landscapes can be attractive and help lead to lower summertime monthly water bills. Photo credit: iStock

 

As the summer watering season comes to an end, so does a time of higher monthly water bills among customers who helped their lawns and landscapes endure the heat.

And the heat was on this year!

As of Oct. 1, the U.S. Drought Monitor considered more than 99% of Colorado to be in some level of drought. Long-range forecasts indicate the hot, dry weather pattern the state experienced throughout the summer could continue into this fall and winter.

Fortunately, heading into this summer Denver Water’s reservoirs were able to capture and store enough water for the 1.5 million people who rely on the utility every day.

But the hot and dry streak has been concerning, especially as we head into the colder and wetter seasons — a critical time for Denver’s water supply that starts as winter’s snow.

This is why Denver Water’s supply and drought experts are meeting regularly, keeping a close watch on weather forecasts, drought levels and soil conditions in the state’s mountains and preparing for what those factors might mean for the metro area in 2021.

You can prepare too.

Fall is always a good time to think about how you used your lawn and landscape last summer — and what changes you may want to make to be more water efficient.

You can start by identifying areas of your lawn that you only visited to mow or water.

Think about making meaningful upgrades to those areas.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Garden In A Box offers professionally designed, water-wise garden kits tailor-made for Colorado yards. Learn more at ResourceCentral.org/gardens.
  • A tree can help provide shade to your yard. Native flowers or shrubs use less water than grass, and vegetable gardens can grow food for the table.
  • Consider expanding your patio space with pea gravel and stones that allow water to flow through and reach the soil below.
  • Don’t simply rip out the grass and replace it with rock. Living plants are important. They provide shade, help hold the soil in place and cool the environment.
An established Garden In A Box landscape. Photo credit: Resource Central.

 

And sign up for Denver Water’s monthly, summertime personalized water-use reports to learn more about your individual water use during the outdoor watering season.

To sign up, call Denver Water’s Customer Care at 303-893-2444 to update your Denver Water account with your email address.

Colorado’s dry climate means we all need to do our part to ensure adequate water supplies will be available well into the future.

For more information about rebates and water efficiency tips inside and outside the home, visit denverwater.org/BestPractices.  

4 thoughts on “Get ready for next year’s watering season now”

  1. Most of Denver’s water comes from West Slope rivers. Most of the West Slope is experiencing extreme drought conditions while Denver’s water consumption was above average all summer due to the higher air temperatures. Please include in your articles about water use that Denver’s water doesn’t come from the faucet, it comes from rivers that are negatively impacted by keeping reservoirs near full. It’s important for Denver’s water user to know that their water use directly impacts the health of Colorado’s rivers. When you say use only what you need you should also include why to that statement and the why is the health of the environment that everyone comes to Colorado to enjoy.

    1. Thanks for the note Kirk — and, you’re exactly right.

      Drought affects all of us in many ways and we will continue to reinforce these widespread impacts with our customers along the Front Range, customers who also value the rivers and streams that ultimately provide us with our water supply.

      We know that Denver Water residents value our state’s natural resources. We know they strive to be good stewards of those resources. In our 2016 Marketing Segmentation study, the most common reason our customers gave for reducing their water use was to help the environment.

      The connection between water use and the environment is one that we continue to reinforce. From our “It’s all connected” videos to our “Journey of Water” series to in-depth features on why the Colorado River is of importance to Denverites to extensive coverage on why we invest in rivers and fisheries on the West Slope (and we thank you for sharing your perspective in these stories), we’re continually focusing on the connection between our drinking water and its origin.

      An example of this effort can be found in this recent TAP story about the hot, dry summer, in which we shared how Denver residents can help by being efficient with water use.

      As smoke from forest fires darken the skies and heat builds over the West Slope rivers, Denver Water customers can help by being efficient in their water use. Using less water here means more water can be kept in the reservoirs, rivers and streams that fish live in and Coloradans enjoy.

      As we recently stressed in a Sky-Hi News column, “We know that using less water means more water can be kept in the reservoirs, rivers and streams that fish live in and Coloradans enjoy. And ultimately, Denver Water’s customers are answering that call despite enduring what is turning out to be one of the hottest and driest years on record.”

      And, we’ll continue working with great partners like you at Trout Unlimited and the counties of Grand and Summit to ensure we’re working together to responsibly use and manage our most valuable resource.

  2. I have almost 1/2 acre yard with a sprinkler system. I have had high water bills but it’s cheaper to pay them then to have to replace trees, grass and bushes, With the hot days and hardly any moisture in my area – none since Sept. 5th or 6th which may have been 1/2 inch – I have to water. I’m in SW Arapahoe county.

  3. Lets start saving water by eliminating the swimming pools in these hotels and by eliminating the gulf coarse!

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