Unlike those living in water-scarce California, Colorado residents won’t have to worry about any drought restrictions this year, Denver Water recently discovered. However, the state’s usual water rules will remain in place, and residents are still encouraged to take water-saving actions.
According to CBS Denver, the state’s water surplus can be largely attributed to good planning by water providers, as this winter delivered poor snowpack to the Colorado River’s sources — only 65% of the average amount. Meanwhile, Colorado water reservoirs are at 108% of their average levels.
“We need to really be cautious — we live in a dry state, you never know what the next year or even the summer will bring, so it’s just smart to use water efficiently,” Stacy Chesney, a spokeswoman for Denver Water, said.
Despite the current surplus of water in Colorado, one only needs to look westward to California to see the devastating effects of extended dry periods. And with the Denver Post reporting that 36 million people throughout the Southwest depend on the Colorado River for water, it’s crucial for Coloradans to conserve their water even during periods when it is in plentiful supply.
So what can you do to reduce your household water consumption?
Oftentimes, small changes can save a surprising amount of water. The simple act of replacing a leaky shower head that drips 10 times per minute can save more than 500 gallons each year — the amount of water it takes to run your dishwasher 60 times. And this doesn’t just help with conservation efforts; it also translates to huge savings on your water bills each year.
On a larger scale, the U.S Bureau of Reclamation will soon release its Moving Forward report, which is expected to document a number of flexible, reliable water management and banking solutions for the Colorado River Basin in the future — solutions that will ensure those who depend on this river will never have to suffer from water shortage.