Posts Tagged ‘Denver Water’

Can turkeys really drown in the rain?

Turkey photo iStock croppedYou may have heard the urban legend: If a turkey looks up in a rainstorm, it will drown. As the story goes, turkeys aren’t very smart and will often stare at the sky with their mouths open. Down comes the rain and, well … bye bye birdie.

At Denver Water, we were quite troubled by this tale, particularly with “Turkey Day” right around the corner. And since we are generally fascinated by anything water-related, we decided to investigate.

We’re no animal behavior experts, but our limited research revealed that the turkey drowning story is, in fact, only a legend. And along the way we actually found out a lot about turkeys. You can read more about your favorite Thanksgiving delicacy here, here and here.

So let us give thanks that our fine-feathered, flightless friend isn’t in danger the next time a few storm clouds float by.


This story got us thinking about all we can be thankful for this holiday season. Here’s our list:

  • We are thankful for ample moisture in 2014. The Denver metro area saw 4 more inches of moisture than normal during the irrigation season, from May to September.
  • That was on top of the tremendous snowpack levels from the spring. Our reservoir system is still 94 percent full after a full summer of use, much better than in the drought years of 2012 and 2013.
  • We are thankful for our customers’ continued conservation efforts. This watering season, they used 14 percent less water than in previous years.
  • We are thankful turkeys only drink about a quart of water a day. That’s very efficient compared to similar-sized animals.
  • We are thankful for refrigerators, which are a much better way to thaw your Thanksgiving turkey than cold water. Properly thawing a 12-pound turkey in the sink takes six hours, and when you have to change the water every 30 minutes, it really adds up!
  • And we are thankful for modern technology and the hardworking men and women who don’t mind braving the elements this time of year to ensure our customers have clean water to prepare their Thanksgiving meals.

What about you? Any water-related thanks to share this year?

A lesson from “Speed” on preparing for the unknown

“Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?”

This memorable line from the movie “Speed” may seem farfetched, but highlights why it is vital to prepare for crisis situations — no matter how unlikely they may seem. By bringing together stakeholders to practice emergency responses, the more equipped we all are to coordinate and react to unforeseen situations in the future.

With that in mind, we gathered more than 100 experts from Denver Water and 28 other agencies from the local, state and federal levels, and presented them with a realistic simulation of an extreme flooding event at Dillon Reservoir in Summit County. Then we asked: “What do you do? What do you do?”

Here is how our movie turned out:


What’s so Moody about water?

Fill in the blank: Aaa is better than ____?

“Aa” of course.

Denver Water was recently upgraded to Aaa by Moody’s Investors Service — a leading provider of credit ratings — and our Finance Division was ecstatic.

We think our customers should be excited too. But, why?

We took to the streets of Denver to find out. (Hint: It has to do with money savings to customers and the sound financial decisions Denver Water employees make every day.)

Why don’t we just let you see it for yourselves:


H2Ooohh: Halloween water facts

Whether you are carving a pumpkin, bobbing for apples or running from zombies this Halloween, water is bound to be part of the festivities.

Below are 10 not-so-scary water facts to share over a steaming cup of witches’ brew at your Halloween party.

Erik Holck, Denver Water construction project manager, grew a giant pumpkin weighing in at 657 pounds this summer. For one stretch in August, the pumpkin grew about 28 pounds a day!

Erik Holck, Denver Water construction project manager, grew a giant pumpkin weighing in at 657 pounds this summer. For one stretch in August, the pumpkin grew about 28 pounds a day!

  1. It takes 350,000 gallons of water over a 100-day growing season for a one-acre corn maze.
  2. A pumpkin is 90 percent water.
  3. The optimal water level to bob for apples is 5 gallons in a 10-gallon tub.
  4. A black cat drinks 2-4 ounces of water each day.
  5. A kettle of witches’ brew contains very little water; it’s mostly dead leaves, seaweed and rotten eggs.
  6. Cleaning your teeth is a must after eating Halloween candy, but make sure to turn off the water while brushing.
  7. A human is 60 percent water; a zombie is 0 percent water.
  8. Each glass of apple cider takes 50 gallons of water to produce.
  9. It takes 20 gallons of water to grow one candy apple.
  10. Don’t turn on the hose to melt the Wicked Witch of the West; it only takes one bucket of water.

Denver Water wishes you a happy Halloween!

Why do you want to go to H2O Outdoors Camp?

2013 H2O Outdoors campers.

2013 H2O Outdoors campers.

“The one thing that is most interesting to me is that we can drink from any water faucet. Back in Tonga we weren’t allowed to drink from the water faucet. The water from the faucet was really bad and it could make you sick. It wasn’t a good idea at all.” – Former H2O Outdoors camper

Every year, Denver Water’s Youth Education team meets up with Aurora Water and the Colorado River District at Keystone Science School in Summit County for a three-day water camp called H2O Outdoors.

“This camp provides high school students from varied backgrounds throughout Colorado with an opportunity to learn about water in the state and all of its complexities in a fun, hands-on environment,” said Matt Bond, Denver Water’s Youth Education manager. “These students will be future decision-makers, and the camp sets them up to be experts on the state’s water gap.”

The camp is offered at a minimal $25 administrative fee (scholarships available), along with an application requiring potential campers to answer why they would like to participate in the program.

Here are some highlights from past application responses:

  • snap copyI would like to learn about the decisions that impact our water rights in Aurora.
  • I am an environmentalist who enjoys learning about the nature around us, and more than anything I’d enjoy learning about the problems affecting us here in Colorado.
  • I participated this summer in the Nuestro Rio Colorado River/Grand Canyon expedition and learned a lot about our water source and the importance of restoring healthy flows to the Colorado River. I want to continue my studies in this area and also enjoy learning outdoors. I also would like to learn more about what kind of work I could do to support the water flows.
  • I would like to participate in this camp because I live close to the headwaters of the Colorado River, I am interested in biology, and I like to do outdoor activities that involve being in the river or on lakes.



For more information:

  • Visit Keystone Science School for camp specifics and application details.
  • Read H2O Outdoors, a guest post by David Miller, school programs director for Keystone Science School.
  • Watch a video about the camp, produced by Aurora Water.

How to become an eighth-grade TV star

Angelica Diaz in study recording 30-second commercial for Rocky Mountain PBS

Angelica Diaz in-studio recording her conservation commercial for Rocky Mountain PBS.

By Matt Bond, Denver Water Youth Education manager

Inspiration strikes in unlikely places, and for Angelica Diaz the spark was water conservation.

Last spring, Diaz, then an eighth-grade student at Kepner Middle School in Denver, entered the Helping Other People Emerge scholarship contest sponsored by Denver Water and Minority Enterprise & Educational Development, which asked students to propose novel water-saving ideas.

The result was brilliant! Diaz, who had recently embraced being part of the team that filmed and broadcasted the daily announcements at school, put her creative video and editing skills to use on her contest submission and produced a short video touting the benefits of shorter showers and high-efficiency showerheads as simple ways to make a difference in the world.

Diaz earned a $500 scholarship for her imaginative video, but with such a dynamic message displayed through simple tasks, this creative piece had way too much to offer to end there. So, Denver Water partnered with Rocky Mountain PBS to showcase Diaz’s scholarship-winning video.



For more simple water-saving tips and tools that will make a big impact, visit

How to celebrate the New Year in October

Happy New Water Year!

Happy New Water Year!

By Lindsay Weber, Denver Water demand planner

In 91 days, downtown Denver will be filled with performances, confetti and fireworks to ring in the New Year. But, at Denver Water the ball dropped last night and we popped the cork for 2015.

That’s because a water year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of the following year and is designated by the calendar year in which it ends. That means the 2015 water year starts today.

This timeframe makes sense for water resource managers because a water year provides a natural breakpoint between the end of the summer — the season of high water use — and the beginning of fall — when snow begins to accumulate — making it easier to compare precipitation across different years.

Because Sept. 30 also marks the end of the outdoor watering season, this timeframe is a natural breakpoint for water users as well. And, as outdoor watering — which accounts for 50 percent of an average single-family residential customer’s water use — comes to an end, we would like to reflect on the 2014 water year, which started out with a bang.

All graphs in the Water Watch Report start over with the new water year.

Many graphs in the Water Watch Report start over with the new water year.

First, our 2014 new water year wishes paid off. After the historic rainfall in September 2013 (the equivalent of December for a traditional year), Denver Water’s reservoirs were higher than they ever had been heading into the new water year. This was followed by a winter packed with snow in our watersheds and a summer full of rain throughout our service area.

Second, we want to thank our customers who followed our 2014 resolution to not be “that guy.” By following the watering rules, watching the weather and submitting nearly 20,000 residential rebates to upgrade to high-efficiency toilets, rotary nozzles, smart irrigation controllers and more, customers used about 9 billion gallons less water this water year compared to recent water years.

So, here’s to 2015! We’ve eaten our 12 lucky grapes in hope of another great water year. But in this dry climate, that isn’t a luxury we can count on, so we all must continue to make water-saving resolutions. From exploring efficient landscape transformation options to saving money by participating in Denver Water’s rebate program, committing to a new water-year resolution is much easier to achieve than the workout goal many of us will set in three short months.



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