Denver Water gives back a day


Thanks to an unexpectedly wet spring and good conservation efforts, Denver Water — which provides water to Littleton — says people can increase their watering days from two to three times per week, and that a rate increase is no longer a possibility for this year.

“Our customers have responded very well to the call to use even less water, and we can finally be confident that enough water from the late-season snows has reached our reservoirs to bring them to reasonable levels,” Greg Austin, president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners, said in a press release. “While the drought is not over, conditions have improved enough that customers may water a third day if their lawns need it. We all still need to do our part to protect against the possibility of another dry winter, and we ask everyone to continue to use even less.”

The snow pack in both of Denver Water’s watersheds ended up above 90 percent of the average peak. Much of it ended up in the reservoirs, which are 92 percent full, on average. Runoff is ending, so they won’t fill much more. The utility’s reservoirs were about 91 percent full this time last year.

“Reservoir storage is only one indicator of drought, and our reservoir levels can drop quickly when we don’t get much rain and snow,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water. “If this summer continues to be hot and dry, we will be vulnerable if there is low snowpack in 2014. To manage our water supply, we must consider the long-term outlook.”

The utility’s drought patrol team will still monitor Denver Water’s service area to educate customers about the watering rules.

“The purpose of our drought patrol is as much about educating customers as it is about enforcing Denver Water’s rules,” said Lochhead. “The most frequent violation we see is customers watering in the middle of the day, which is wasteful because the water just evaporates. We ask everyone to be mindful of when they are watering.”

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