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DRIP releases new data on Western Slope drought conditions

Grand Junction City Council recently marked April as water conservation month
Grand Junction City Council recently marked April as water conservation month(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:36 PM MDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:37 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Drought Response Information Project has released new data this week, examining current drought conditions in the valley. Multiple local leaders held a press conference at the Colorado River this morning, explaining the importance of conserving water over the next few months.

As of this week, 84 percent of the upper Colorado River Basin is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. One storm last week added a single inch of snow water to the Grand Mesa, but according to multiple experts, plenty more is needed to get to average runoff levels. The National Weather Service also says that last year’s extreme wildfire season is still affecting drought conditions this spring, and conservation efforts will help prevent more dangerous wildfires in 2021.

“The changes you can make can help improve the moisture going into wildfire season, because that affects everyone,” says Megan Stackhouse, Meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

Grand Junction City Council recently marked April as water conservation month. The city is recommending that people follow specific water usage guidelines, particularly when it comes to watering lawns. They say the biggest issues with water conservation primarily come from outdoor lawn irrigation.

“The biggest user water is primarily for outdoor lawn irrigation,” explains Mark Ritterbush, Water Services Manager for the City of Grand Junction. “You should be watering your lawn once a month in April, twice in May, 3 times in June.”

The Wyland Foundation is also leading a national water conservation effort throughout April. The city of Grand Junction and Town of Palisade will each take part in the effort. Individuals who participate will be eligible to win prizes, which include free utilities for an entire year and gift cards for online home shopping. The grand prize is a Toyota Highlander car, which will go to the charity of the winning city’s choice.

You can find out more on how to do your part at mywaterpledge.com.

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