Despite Drought, Water Consumption On The Rise
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Ute Water says despite an announcement that the Grand Valley is in a Stage 1 drought, their customers have consumed three times more water than normal.
On June 8 the Drought Response Information Project, a collaboration among all of the water districts throughout the Grand Valley, announced the drought and requested that water consumers conserve their water.
The numbers since the announcement reveal water consumption has tripled compared to this time last year, equaling an increase of 54 million gallons.
Ute Water says they know where all the extra water is going. "We've seen that customers are beginning to convert their domestic water for irrigation purposes," said Joseph Burtard of the Ute Water Conservancy District.
In fact, compared to last June, there has been an increase from 89 gallons of water used per day per residential customer to 107 this June.
Ute says the rates are built around discouraging such acts. The cheapest service for a residential tap is $15 per 3,000 gallons per billing period. Further use will result in exponential growth of a consumer's water bill.
Ute officials say some residential customers have racked up bills into the thousands because of their use of water for irrigation purposes, such as watering lawns or gardens.
Burtard says rates will be likely go up again if the Grand Valley moves into a Stage 2 drought. A Stage 2 drought will be declared if any of the water districts' reservoirs fall below 75 percent full.
Ute says they will continue educating the public about responsible water consumption, and discourage tap water use for gardens and lawns.