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Drought

Cheesman Reservoir
Cheesman Reservoir during the 2002 drought

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 water wisely. Keep updated on statewide drought conditions with the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Stages of drought response

Denver Water’s Drought Response Plan details drought severity indicators, response actions and program elements. Denver Water’s primary response to drought is to restrict customers’ water use so supplies will last as long as possible and be available for the most essential uses. Four different stages of drought response are outlined:

  • Drought Watch: A Drought Watch will increase communication to customers that water supplies are below average, conditions are dry and continued dry weather could lead to mandatory watering restrictions.
  • Stage 1 Drought: A Stage 1 drought response imposes mandatory watering restrictions and requires effort on the part of customers.
  • Stage 2 Drought: A Stage 2 drought response imposes a ban on lawn watering for Denver Water’s customers. Stage 2 drought restrictions are severe and will likely result in damage to or loss of landscapes.
  • Stage 3 Drought: If conditions warrant, Denver Water may implement a rationing program for an indefinite period of time to ensure, to the extent possible, that there is adequate water for essential uses.