U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- Denver Water customers can now water their lawns
and gardens starting without worrying about patrols looking for water
The Denver Water Board is lifting restrictions in place since the
summer of 2002, when one of the state's worst-ever droughts depleted
Denver Water's reservoirs were 79.3 percent full recently,
compared with 50.6 percent a year ago.
A huge blizzard in March and a rainy spring helped restore water
However, board member Richard Kirk has said restrictions will
return if Colorado has a dry winter. Snowpack provides about 80
percent of the state's water supply.
Utility officials said that customers decreased water use by an
average of 51 gallons a day during the drought -- enough water for a
shower and two loads of dishes.
The utility, which has 1.2 million customers in the Denver area,
said overall consumption dropped by 22 percent. The board had aimed
for a 30 percent reduction.
During the drought, Denver Water gave customers $100 rebates for
installing water-efficient toilets and $125 for water-efficient
washing machines. Homeowners and businesses replaced 23,607 toilets
In July, the water board ended surcharges intended to encourage
conservation. Board members promised to eliminate the extra charges
once reservoir levels reached 80 percent of their capacity.
Customers who used more than 70 percent of the amount of water
they used in 2001 had to pay the surcharge.
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