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Drought and Climate Change

Cheesman Reservoir during the 2002 drought

Climate change is a new and complex challenge for water utilities. Denver Water is a leader in addressing and incorporating climate change into its planning process. In order to continue serving a reliable supply of high-quality water to its customers, Denver Water will perform the planning needed to adapt to potential water impacts from climate change.

Still, there is a wide range of climate-change predictions for Colorado, which makes future water-supply planning difficult. Denver Water is working with climate scientists to best understand how climate conditions may change in our area, as well as to promote the need for better science and better modeling and uncertainty planning to meet the needs of water providers. It’s also doing what it can to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions.

The weather in this area constantly fluctuates, but it’s typically very dry. Denver receives an average of 15 inches of precipitation each year, which is about a fourth of the precipitation a tropical city such as Miami receives. We’ve also experienced several severe droughts in the past that have challenged our water system and depleted our supply. With such a dry climate, it’s always important to use only you need.