In Brief: Colorado’s hot, dry summer drives water use up, wiping out early pandemic-related reductions

According to reporting from The Colorado Sun this week, Denver and Aurora water providers saw a decline in commercial water usage at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Denver Water, the largest Colorado water utility with 319,000 metro customers in 2019, saw industrial use drop 8 percent through July, and office building use drop 11 percent, spokesman Todd Hartman said. Restaurants were down a whopping 30 percent. Commercial use at Aurora Water dropped more than 14 percent from March to April.

But the dry summer has changed that. In Aurora, for instance, lawn water use was up 30 percent. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the months of April to July were the fifth driest on record in Colorado. However, western water systems that utilize pipe-and-bucket storage systems can move and collect runoff for Colorado cities when summers are dry. Denver Water’s reservoir system, from Dillon Reservoir to Cheesman and Gross, was 91 percent full on Aug. 24, slightly below the 93 percent average. Last year, Denver Water was at 97 of average.

Read more on this story from The Colorado Sun.

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