Top Colorado Water News: April 24-May 4

From drought restrictions to fracking hearings, water has played a starring role in recent news. Here are some of the stories you need to know about. Comment on this post to tell us about the Colorado water news stories you’re following.

1. Denver Water Begs Us to Use Less Water
During an incredibly high-snowpack year like 2011, it’s easy to forget that Colorado is considered semi-arid. But the drought-dry conditions that contributed to March’s North Fork fire, as well as the dismal rainfall Denver has received this spring, are good reminders of just how dry the state really is. Denver Parks and Recreation has already said it would trim its use by 10 percent this summer. Meanwhile, Denver Water announced on April 25 that it was implementing stage 1 drought restrictions. Click here to find out what that means for you.

The average household uses a whopping 130,340 gallons per year. Where is all that water going? Here are the numbers, reported by 9 News:

  • 55% – outdoor use
  • 11% – toilets
  • 9% – clothes washer
  • 8% – shower
  • 7% – leaks

Other states in our neighborhood aren’t fairing much better. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, “61 percent of the lower 48 states were listed to be in abnormally dry or drought conditions,” reported by Coyote Gulch.

2. Summit County: Worried About it’s Reservoirs
Denver’s not the only county concerned it doesn’t have enough water to go around this season. Due to critically low snowpack in the high country and an early runoff, Summit County water managers are anticipating a tough summer, according to the Summit Daily. Snowpack in Summit is at just 33 percent of average, which will put pressure on Dillon and Green Mountain reservoirs to be hyper-efficient in the scorching months ahead. To address the public’s concerns, plus celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Colorado River District, the Colorado River District and Blue River Watershed Group are hosting the annual Summit County State of the River meeting on May 8, 6:30-8:30pm. Get the details here.

3. Denver Water Releases 2012 Water Quality Report
Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires water utilities to tell you about where your water is coming from and what’s in it. Download the report to learn about potential contaminates such as bacteria, pesticides and lead, Colorado water sources and the history of Denver Water.

4. The Debate Continues on Fracking Regulations
Should hydraulic fracturing be regulated or shouldn’t it? That’s the ongoing question that was again debated at a congressional hearing last week in Denver. The Department of Interior is going back and forth on whether companies pumping fluids into bedrock to release gas deposits should be required to disclose what exactly is in those fluids. The concern, of course, is that those fluids may contaminate groundwater. Read the Denver Post’s description of the hearing and controversy surrounding fracking.

5. Colorado Water 2012 May Events Announced
Attend a water festival, float a river during the 13th Annual River Awareness Float Trip, or learn to compost. There are a ton of happenings coming up this month. Find out about fun and educational water events in the free Colorado Water 2012 monthly newsletter.

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