Yesterday in Grand Junction, Colorado we received about 1/4 of an inch of rain throughout the day. As we dropped our kid off to school we noticed several homes and churches watering their lawns despite the rain. There are rather simple fixes for not water in the rain such as using sensors available at the hardware store or from RainBird (R). I've heard that many of the problems with lawns are caused by improper watering. There is lots of opportunity to conserve and use less of our finite resources.
The Colorado Water Plan is open for public comment for about six (6) more weeks. Here a brief description provided by the Colorado Water Conservation Board:
People love Colorado: our population ballooned from 1 million in 1930, to over 5 million today, and is projected to grow even faster in the future. So how do we ensure that we are able to preserve what we know and love about our state alongside population growth? When it comes to our water, Colorado’s Water Plan has answers. This plan offers a strategic vision: a productive economy that supports vibrant and sustainable cities, productive agriculture, a strong environment, and a robust recreation industry. How can we achieve this vision for Colorado water? This plan provides the strategies, policies, and actions by which Colorado can address its projected future needs in a manner consistent with this vision. This plan will be accomplished through collaboration with basin roundtables, local governments, water providers, and other stakeholders. It represents a set of collaboratively developed policies and actions that all Coloradans and their elected officials can support and to which they can adhere.
Not only is Colorado River water in great demand in the western U.S., there are statewide conflicts between the East Slope (including the Denver area) and the West Slope (including Grand Junction). Currently, over a half a million acre-feet of water is diverted each year from the West Slope to go to the East Slope according to news reports. Future diversions will need to increase as the population is booming in the Denver area which will continue to put more pressure on West Slope to conserve.
In my opinion, rather than West Slope supporters demanding that no more water be provided to East Slope users, which will be a losing battle due to voter populations, the entire state needs to adopt strict conservation measures taken by many other cities. For example, the tremendous waste of water in the West Slope is astounding to me after having lived in Las Vegas. Here is an updated video taken at the same location as shown on the July 17th blog where the mortuary business watered grass during a rain storm! I've also noticed they routinely water at 9:30 am and 5:00 pm. By contrast, the City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation sets irrigation to occur between 10 pm and 6 am to limit loss by evapotranspiration and growth of disease. Rain moisture sensors are used to obtain the proper amount of irrigation water. So far, the business has not responded to my email offering them free advice on proper irrigation techniques.