Arvada Moves to Stage 1 Drought

ARVADA, CO –On Wednesday, June 26, the Denver Board of Water Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring a Stage 1 drought – which removes the two-day-per-week assigned watering schedule – effective immediately. The area water supply has greatly improved since Stage 2 drought restrictions were put in place April 1, thanks to an unexpectedly wet spring and citizens’ reduced water use. While Arvada is not part of Denver Water’s service area, Arvada receives the majority of its water from Denver Water through a contract, which requires Arvada to adopt the same rules and restrictions.


“We appreciate the cooperation shown by Arvada water customers to reduce their consumption these last twelve weeks,” stated Cliff Deeds, Water Operations Manager for the City of Arvada.


“We can finally be confident that enough water from the late-season snows has reached our reservoirs to bring them to reasonable levels,” said Greg Austin, president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners. “While the drought is not over, conditions have improved enough that customers may water a third day, if their lawns need it. We all still need to do our part to protect against the possibility of another dry winter, and we ask everyone to continue to use even less.”


On March 27, 2013, the board declared a Stage 2 drought, based on 60 percent snowpack, extremely dry conditions and lower-than-normal reservoirs. Late-season weather improved conditions significantly, and the snowpack in both of Denver and Arvada’s watersheds ended up above 90 percent of the average peak. More important, much of the snow made its way into our reservoirs, which are currently 92 percent full on average. Runoff is ending and we do not expect reservoirs to fill much more. The utility’s reservoirs were about 91 percent full this time last year.


In May 2013, the board delayed implementation of drought pricing due to the improved conditions. The Stage 1 drought declaration removes drought pricing entirely. The last time the utility declared a Stage 1 drought was in 2012.


In response to the Stage 1 drought declaration, Denver Water and the City of Arvada are asking its customers to reduce outdoor watering and follow the standard annual watering rules:

  • Water no more than three days per week (there are no assigned days).
  • Do not water lawns between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Do not waste water by allowing it to pool in gutters, streets and alleys.
  • Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt.
  • Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
  • Do not water while it is raining or during high winds.


The Arvada water operations division will still monitor and respond to help educate customers about the watering rules.

“Summer has just begun and depending upon how hot and dry our weather pattern becomes, we could be vulnerable if there is low snowpack in 2014,” said Deeds. “In order to manage our water supply we have to look long-term and reduce the most frequent violations. Our staff  looks for things like watering in the middle of the day, which is wasteful because the water just evaporates. We ask everyone to be mindful of when they are watering.”

Citizens who see water waste or broken sprinklers in Arvada should call the Drought Hotline at 720-898-7805. Find watering tips and more drought information at