Sep 26 2017

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The Colorado Water Plan

By Don Ireland

It’s time to look at a glass of water differently. A Michigan State University report predicts one in three American households may be unable to afford their water bill in the next 5 years.

Fortunately, Front Range residents may not face a water crisis of that magnitude. The reason: most Front Range water suppliers are taking steps to ensure a steady supply of affordable drinking water. The Colorado Water Plan, however, raises the concern that our population – expected to double to nearly 10 million by 2050 – may not be taking water conservation seriously enough. It estimates as many as 2.3 million people may face water shortfalls Some tips on cutting your water (and sewage) bills:

Watch a free online film to better understand the urgency for water conservation. “Doing More with Less: The Challenge and Opportunity of Water Efficiency” shows off the state’s beauty and explains the need for conservation. The 11-minute video is from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and One World One Water Center at Metropolitan State University. The movie is on the water efficiency page of the Colorado Water Conservation Board: www.cwcb.state.co.us/.

On the average, half of water used by single-family homes annually is for lawns. Turn on your sprinkler system in late May and turn it off late September. (Most water authorities charge higher rates from April through October.) Replacing blue grass sections with water-thrifty native and xeric perennials. They improve beauty and attract pollinators. Plant Select recommends 135 species. See photos, specs and videos at: www.plantselect.org.

Many water suppliers offer rebates for replacing old toilets with high-efficiency models. The water savings can be remarkable. Replacing a 3.5-gallon-per-flush (gpf ) toilet with a 1 gpf model could save 16,000 gallons annually. New dishwashers and front-loading clothes washers can be water savers. Look for WaterSense stickers.

Photo credit: © 2017 Kiefer Hamilton

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