DENVER (KDVR) — Your sprinkler system may be the last thing on your mind in the middle of January, but Denver Water officials are already preparing for potential restrictions this summer.
Currently, the reservoirs that supply Denver with water are about 4% below average in terms of storage.
But the bigger concern could be with the spring runoff, where dry, thirsty soils from last summer are expected to suck up more water than usual.
“That translates to less water that makes its way to the reservoir, and less water available to our customers,” says Todd Hartman with Denver Water.
Hartman says crews are closely monitoring snowpack in the High Country, as well as soil moistures across the state.
“Current modeling shows that the stream flow could be between 67-83% of normal, based on current conditions,” says Hartman, “So that would be less than what we’d hope for, obviously, we’d hope to see stream flows at 100% of average.”
Hartman says the department is already forming contingency plans to limit water use this summer.
Denver Water made major changes following the drought in 2002, restricting water use to three times a week, and prohibiting watering during the heat of the day.
Those changes remain in place today, but Hartman says severe conditions could force the department to limit use even further.
“We just want people to be ready, to be aware, that perhaps this could be a tough summer, or at least a summer where we’re going to ask people to watch their water use,” he says.
Hartman says drought or no drought, it’s important to remember water is in scarce supply in Colorado.
He recommends looking around your home and property for ways to limit use.
“Something as simple as turning off your faucet when you shave, to looking at your toilet,” he says, “Look at your yard, see if there’s even small changes you could make.”