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Are Denver's best practices for outdoor watering unique?

Take a look at some of the advice given by water utilities from California to Florida.


If you have lived in Denver for a few years or longer, you probably know that the efficient way to water landscapes is to follow Denver Water’s summer watering rules, which begin every year on May 1 and run through Oct. 1.

But what about those thousands of people who have moved to the City and County of Denver in recent years?

As it turns out, they are pretty familiar with Denver Water’s rules too.

Best practices for efficient, healthy outdoor watering are not just a Denver thing. They are the same best practices you’ll find utilities advocating for in California, Texas, Arizona, Illinois and Florida — the states where many of Denver’s newcomers came from.

How did we figure that out? We looked at federal census data (specifically the 72,490 people who moved in between 2012 and 2016) to learn which five states, and which county in each of those states, were the biggest suppliers of our recent round of new neighbors in Denver.

Then we looked at a sampling of the water providers in each of those counties to see what they advise their own customers to do.

Here’s what they all said:

  • There is no need to water when it’s raining, Mother Nature can handle it. And if it’s windy, it is best to hold off on watering.
  • When using a hose to wash the car, or water the lawn or trees, always use a shut-off nozzle in order to use only what you need, right when and where you need it.
  • When sweeping sidewalks and driveways, brooms are fantastic tools to use.
  • Allowing water to run off onto sidewalks or the street wastes water.
  • Watering in the cooler parts of the day, between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m., cuts down on evaporation.

So, when it comes to outdoor watering, there's no need for a native versus transplant turf battle. Instead, let's raise a cool glass of safe, clean tap water to everyone who knows the best way to water landscapes efficiently.

And if you need a refresher on the ins and outs of Denver Water’s annual summer watering rules, check out for more information. You’ll find all kinds of efficiency tips there for water use inside and out.