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Drought Status and Plan

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Current Drought Status: Non-Drought


Drought Stages and restrictions

What this stage means: Water supplies are adequate with Westminster's allocation of Standley Lake reservoir above 17,000 acre-feet. Water characteristics (precipitation, snowpack, streamflow and soil moisture) does not indicate prolonged dryness in the near future.

What we ask you to do: Using water efficiently is a way of life in Colorado's arid climate. Reducing your water usage now will help prevent the need for increased conservation actions in the future. Learn about easy ways to save water without sacrificing what is important to you.

What this stage means: Abnormally dry conditions. Westminster's allocation of Standley Lake Reservoir is projected to be below 17,000 acre-feet by June 1. Watershed characteristics (precipitation, snowpack, streamflow and soil moisture) indicate prolonged dryness. 

What we ask you to do: To reduce the risk of progression to mandatory restrictions, please limit watering your lawn to 3 days a week before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. only. Use only what you need on new seed, sod, plants, shrubs, and gardens. Do not waste water and stay alert to drought status changes. 

Actions for Residents

Turf grass Suggested watering guidelines: Maximum of three watering days per week and no watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
New seed and sod No waste of water. 
New plantings No waste of water.
Trees, large shrubs and perennials No waste of water.
Flowers, vegetables and community gardens No waste of water. 
Cars - washing at home With bucket or hand-held hose with shut-off nozzle.

Actions for Businesses

Cars - commercial car washes No action
Fleet vehicle washing No open-ended hose use.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. High-efficiency equipment is required.

Actions for the City of Westminster

Athletic and playing fields No waste of water.
Public parks (other than athletic and playing fields) No waste of water.
Golf courses No waste of water.
Daytime irrigation of high-traffic areas No waste of water.
Irrigation taps not covered by other rules No waste of water.
Unlined ponds Filled using approved backflow.
Swimming pools No waste of water.
Public spray pads No waste of water.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. No waste of water.

What this stage means: Severely dry conditions. Westminster's allocation of Standley Lake Reservoir is projected to be below 14,000 acre-feet by June 1. Watershed characteristics (precipitation, snowpack, streamflow and soil moisture) indicate severe and prolonged dryness. 

What we ask you to do: All customers are required to limit watering lawns to 2 days a week before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. according to a rotational watering schedule. This schedule is listed in a table below. Watering of new seed, sod and plantings only allowed with a permit. 

Rotational Watering Schedule

Single-family residential properties with odd-numbered addresses Water lawns on Saturdays and Wednesdays only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Single-family residential properties with even-numbered addresses Water lawns on Sundays and Thursdays only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
All others (multi-family, HOAs, commercial, industrial, government) Water lawns on Tuesday and Fridays only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Actions for Residents

Turf grass Two days / week based on the rotational watering schedule above. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. No watering before May 1 or after September 30.
New seed and sod Permit required. No July or August installations.
New plantings Permit required. No July or August installations. 
Trees, large shrubs and perennials May be watered by hand-held hose or low-volume non-spray ("drip") following the rotational watering schedule. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Flowers, vegetables and community gardens May be watered by hand-held hose or low-volume non-spray ("drip") following the rotational watering schedule. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Cars - washing at home With bucket or hand-held hose with shut-off nozzle.

Actions for Businesses

Commercial car washes Car washes must implement industry best management practices and reduce water use to no more than 40 gallons per vehicle. 
Fleet vehicle washing Permit required. Maximum one wash per week with a pressure washer. 
Charity events (e.g. car washes) Permit required. 
Restaurants Water served only on request. Display table tent cards provided by the city. 
Lodging  Water efficiency informational card must be placed in each room. Only wash towels and linens when requested. 
Construction water for dust control Must follow best management practices. No water waste. Construction permit may be rescinded for violations.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. High-efficiency equipment is required.

Actions for the City of Westminster

Athletic and playing fields Irrigated following the rotational schedule above.
Public parks (other than athletic and playing fields) Irrigated at 70% of evapotranspiration rate of grass. Reclaimed water sistes will be irrigated via rotational schedule. 
Golf courses Irrigated following the rotational schedule above.
Daytime irrigation of high-traffic areas By hand or hose watering only. City facilities only. 
Irrigation taps not covered by other rules Irrigated following the rotational schedule above.
Unlined ponds No filling allowed unless used for irrigation. 
Swimming pools No waste of water.
Public spray pads No waste of water.
Other decorative water features (fountains, waterfalls, etc.) No operation or filling of water features. No installation of new features. 
Misting devices Not allowed.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. No waste of water. 
Hydrant permits Permits may be canceled and surcharges may be applied. 

What this stage means: Extremely dry conditions. Westminster's allocation of Standley Lake Reservoir is projected to be below 8,000 acre-feet by June 1. Watershed characteristics (precipitation, snowpack, streamflow and soil moisture) indicate extreme dryness.

What we ask you to do: No watering of turf grass is allowed. Only established or mature trees and perennial plants may be watered using a low-volume method once per week following the rotational watering schedule below. 

Rotational Watering Schedule

Single-family residential properties with odd-numbered addresses Water established or mature trees only, on Saturdays only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Single-family residential properties with even-numbered addresses Water established or mature trees only, on Sundays only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
All others (multi-family, HOAs, commercial, industrial, government) Water established or mature trees only, on Tuesday  only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Actions for Residents

Turf grass No watering allowed. No herbicide, fertilizer or pesticide application. 
New seed and sod No watering allowed.
New plantings No watering allowed.
Trees, large shrubs and perennials Existing trees only, watered by hand-held hose or low-volume non-spray ("drip") irrigation no more than once per week following the schedule above. 
Flowers, vegetables and community gardens Watered by hand-held hose or low-volume non-spray ("drip") irrigation no more than once per week following the schedule above. 
Cars - washing at home With bucket only.

Actions for Businesses

Commercial car washes Car washes must implement industry best management practices and reduce water use to no more than 20 gallons per vehicle. 
Fleet vehicle washing One time per month only for health and safety. Permit required. 
Charity events (e.g. car washes) Not allowed.
Restaurants Water served only on request. Display table tent cards provided by the city. 
Lodging  Water efficiency informational card must be placed in each room. Only wash towels and linens when requested. 
Construction water for dust control Must follow best management practices. No water waste. Construction permit may be rescinded for violations.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. Health and safety issues only. High-efficiency equipment is required.

Actions for the City of Westminster

Athletic and playing fields Irrigated following the rotational schedule above. Irrigation of playing turf only.
Public parks (other than athletic and playing fields) Irrigated at 10% of evapotranspiration rate of grass. Reclaimed water sites will be irrigated at 30% of evapotranspiration rate.
Golf courses Tees and greens.
Daytime irrigation of high-traffic areas Hand watering only.   
Irrigation taps not covered by other rules Irrigated following the rotational schedule above. Mature and established trees and perennials only.
Unlined ponds Not allowed.
Swimming pools Single-family residential pools shall not be filled or refilled, except by special permit for structural integrity. Operation of other pools, including community recreation center pools may be permitted. 
Public spray pads No operation or filling. 
Other decorative water features (fountains, waterfalls, etc.) No operation or filling of water features. No installation of new features. 
Misting devices Not allowed.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. Health and safety issues only. High efficiency equipment required.    
Hydrant permits Useonly on case by case basis approved by the City Manager or his designee.  Surcharges may be applied. 

What this stage means: Exceptionally dry conditions. Westminster's allocation of Standley Lake Reservoir is projected to be below 3,000 acre-feet by June 1. Watershed characteristics (precipitation, snowpack, streamflow and soil moisture) indicate exceptional and prolonged dryness.

What we ask you to do: Customers are required to ration water to protect public health and safety, support essential water uses, and avoid unnecessary economic impacts.  Existing trees may be watered no more than once per month using a low-volume method following the schedule below.

Rotational Watering Schedule

Single-family residential properties with odd-numbered addresses Water established or mature trees only, on the first Saturday of the month only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Single-family residential properties with even-numbered addresses Water established or mature trees only, on the first Sunday of the month only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
All others (multi-family, HOAs, commercial, industrial, government) Water established or mature trees only, on the first Tuesday of the month only. No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Actions for Residents

Turf grass No watering allowed. No herbicide, fertilizer or pesticide application. 
New seed and sod No watering allowed.
New plantings No watering allowed.
Trees, large shrubs and perennials Existing trees only, watered by hand-held hose or low-volume non-spray ("drip") irrigation no more than once per month.
Flowers, vegetables and community gardens No watering allowed
Car washing at home With bucket only.

Actions for Businesses

Commercial car washes Not allowed.
Fleet vehicle washing Not allowed.
Charity events (e.g. car washes) Not allowed.
Restaurants Water served only on request. Display table tent cards provided by the city. 
Lodging  Water efficiency informational card must be placed in each room. Only wash towels and linens when requested. 
Construction water for dust control On a case-by-case basis. Must follow best management practices. No water waste. Construction permit may be rescinded for violations.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. Health and safety issues only. High-efficiency equipment is required.

Actions for the City of Westminster

Athletic and playing fields No watering allowed.
Public parks (other than athletic and playing fields) No watering allowed.
Golf courses No watering allowed. 
Daytime irrigation of high-traffic areas No watering allowed.
Irrigation taps not covered by other rules No watering allowed.
Unlined ponds Not allowed.
Swimming pools No filling of pools.
Public spray pads No operation or filling. 
Other decorative water features (fountains, waterfalls, etc.) No operation or filling of water features. No installation of new features. 
Misting devices Not allowed.
Washing impermeable surfaces Use dry cleanup methods prior to washing. Health and safety issues only. High efficiency equipment required.    
Hydrant permits No hydrant use allowed except for firefighting purposes. 
Street cleaning equipment Extreme health and safety issues only. High-efficiency equipment only.

Additional information

What is drought?

Drought happens when there is not enough water in our streams and reservoirs due to low precipitation. Reduced water supplies cause lower storage levels, so there is less water for Westminster residents, businesses, and agriculture.

What is the purpose of a Drought Management Plan? 

To ensure water supplies are available for our customer’s most critical needs, water providers must anticipate and plan for drought. Westminster City Council approved an updated Drought Management Plan in April 2019. 

What is our drought history? 

Drought is a common natural occurrence in western states like Colorado, which significantly reduces water supplies for cities, farms and rivers. Colorado is arid, receiving less than a fourth of the precipitation compared to a tropical, coastal city like Miami. By using our water more wisely and carefully all the time, but especially during drought, we can help make our water supply last through severe droughts. 

Stay up to date with statewide drought conditions with the Drought Monitor. Keep in mind these are current climactic conditions, and do not necessarily equate to utility-specific drought declarations. However, it’s a useful tool for viewing the current drought situation regionally. 

The most recent severe drought in which Westminster and much of the Denver-Metro area enacted drought restrictions was in 2002.  
•    Colorado drought hits farms, forests and fish, CNN
•    Denver Adjusts to Drought With Expertise and a Little Humor, NY Times