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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

City’s water supply is good, but watching for drought conditions

City’s water supply is good, but watching for drought conditions

You may have seen the word “drought” mentioned in the news recently, but how is Westminster doing?

Similar to the rest of the state, 2020 has seen the classic signs of drought in the city with stream flows and precipitation well below average and temperatures and water usage well above average. As of fall 2020, the city’s water supply is in good shape and no local drought declarations or water restrictions are needed at this time.

Water resource staff continue to keep a close eye on climate conditions, reservoir storage and customer water demand. The next opportunity for Standley Lake to refill will be next spring when the winter snowpack begins to melt. The amount of snowpack this winter will be a major determining factor in assessing the need for drought declarations in 2021.

What if we don’t get enough snow and have a drought next year? Westminster has a City Council-approved Drought Management Plan in place that outlines specific triggers, like climate conditions, streamflows, snowpack projections and the level of Standley Lake, that guide when to enact need for water restrictions.  It also outlines drought response strategies and specific restrictions that need to be implemented to protect the long-term safety of the water supply. 

We’ll keep you updated on the status of our water supply and drought projections through the fall and winter ahead of any possible drought declarations next spring.

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