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Annual Denver Water Summer Watering Rules begin May 1

Denver Water’s annual summer watering rules are in full effect as of May 1.

Even with a late-season surge of snow in Colorado’s high country, the mountain snowpack in Denver Water’s two collection areas ended the 2021-22 season below average. The Upper South Platte and the river basins hit their peak for the year, at 71% and 86% of average, respectively.

“It’s critical customers follow our summer watering rules, which begin May 1. A below-average snowpack is a reminder to all of us that we should always use water wisely,” said Nathan Elder, manager of water supply for Denver Water.

Currently, we don’t expect additional watering restrictions for Denver Water’s service area. Between improved soil moisture, efficient water uses by customers and reservoir storage carry-over from last year, Denver Water forecasts that our reservoir storage could peak at 93% this year. But with an underwhelming snowpack, Denver Water planners will be watching supplies carefully and could change course if hot and dry conditions persist.

“It’s important to remember that half of Denver’s water supply comes from the Colorado River, which has been plagued with long-term drought,” said Elder. “Long-term water supply still depends on our customers using water efficiently every day.”

Summer watering rules are not about restrictions. They're about the best ways to keep your lawn healthy and green without wasting water — ultimately saving the customer money.

There is no need for excessive watering – limit outdoor watering to no more than three days a week and only during the cooler times of day, between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. Following these rules is the right thing to do given Colorado’s arid climate and the importance of protecting reservoir supplies, rivers and streams on the West Slope and the Front Range.

Please remember that temperatures are expected to be seasonal as we head into May and customers should ease into lawn and garden watering.


Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and promotes its efficient use to 1.5 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, the utility is a public agency funded by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. It is Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility. Subscribe to TAP to hydrate your mind, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.