Additional water restrictions in Aurora this summer not likely

Screenshot via U.S. Drought Monitor

AURORA | Aurorans probably won’t face extra water restrictions this summer because of drought conditions, according to the city’ water utility. 

Greg Baker, a spokesperson for Aurora Water, said there’s probably enough water in the city’s vast network of reservoirs and storage areas to supply Aurora through the summer without water use cuts. In January, Aurora Water and other Front Range utilities warned of possible water restrictions because of poor snowpack and an ongoing drought. 

Aurora’s water storage network is currently filled at 63% of capacity. Baker added that, although snowpack is lower than average in the mountain watersheds supplying water, city water managers “believe that we will not require additional restrictions in 2021,” Baker said. 

However, the city’s permanent water conservation rules will still be in place. 

Aurorans can’t water their yards more than three days per week, or at all between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., from May 1 to September 30. 

Despite the Front Range’s record-setting blizzard last month, all of Colorado remained in degrees of drought as of March 30, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Aurora remains in “moderate” and “severe” drought categories. 

Mountain snowpack in the Arkansas River basin, South Platte River basin and Upper Colorado headwaters, which feed Aurora’s water stores, remains below average this year. Stream runoff is also expected to be below average because dried-out soils will capture more moisture.  

“It was so dry and warm last year that making up the deficit will take a lot of time, and the forecasts are not great for this spring,” Baker said.

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