Conserving water and money

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Colorado’s statewide drought may affect the Grand Valley's way of life and resident's wallets.

We're below average for snowpack, and it's likely the Grand Valley will enter a worse drought this summer, prompting an increase in water restrictions and a higher water bill.

Local mom Betsy Bair is concerned about a drought in Mesa County, especially with warmer weather just around the corner.

"When you have small children, they want to play outside in the water all the time, and that has the potential to affect our families,” said Bair.

Water utility companies in the Grand Valley are already putting in place a water conservation plan.

Joe Burtard, of the Ute Water Conservancy District, says they have a plan to help residents save water and their wallets by implementing voluntary commercial and industrial audits.

"They will voluntarily participate in these audits, and it's just a really good way for us to make the biggest difference in our water usage," explained Burtard.

By reducing your water usage, you will help conserve water and reduce your bill. Water rates-- and therefore bills-- tend to increase in a time of drought.

"Our current rates-- what our customers are currently paying now-- will essentially go to the wayside and these drought rates will come into effect," said Burtard.

Mesa County currently is in a Stage 1 Drought, but we could very likely be facing a Stage 2 Drought soon.

"Stage 1 is a voluntary water restrictions. If we have to move into Stage 2 that would be a mandatory water restriction," said Burtard.

For residents like Bair, water restrictions not only will affect our environment, but our households as well.

"When I start to think about kiddie pools, and using sprinklers outside using that water, especially if it is going to cost more, families are going to really second guess that," said Bair.

The Colorado Conservation Board is launching a new website today where Colorado residents can go to quickly access information about local water restrictions.

Many water providers on the Front Range have already announced their water restrictions- taking effect as soon as April 1.

If you would like your kids to learn more about water restrictions, Ute Water is hosting a Children's Water Festival in May at Colorado Mesa University, where kids can learn everything about water.

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