Boulder receives an average
of 18 inches of rain a year which is not enough precipitation to depend
on for all of our water needs. We rely heavily on the snow that falls
in the mountains. In Colorado, roughly 80% of our water supply comes
from snow. Because snow melts quickly in the spring, we have developed
extensive reservoir systems throughout the mountains and plains to store
water for year-round use. (For more on the seasonal changes in climate
and precipitation, go to the learning activity on Water Budget, which
will be completed in the Fall of 1999.) The average Boulder Creek Watershed
resident uses about 80 gallons of water a day. This amount fluctuates
throughout the year. The highest demand for water falls in the summer
months June, July, August. The most water we use indoors is in the bathroom.
The highest water use outdoors is for landscape irrigation.
Because water is a precious
resource in Colorado, we must find ways to conserve it. There are many
things we can do indoors to reduce the amount of water we use including
putting in low-flow showers and toilets; turning off the water when
we brush or shave; taking shorter showers; and many others. Much of
the water we use is for outdoor watering. One way to reduce our watering
is to plant a xeriscape landscape which incorporates native, drought
resistant plants, trees and grass species.
In Boulder, our houses and
apartment buildings have water meters that measure household water use.
The city of Boulder’s Public Utility Department takes monthly readings
from our water meters to prepare household water bills and to calculate
a community’s water use.
For a chart with information
on how much water we use for various tasks, click
For a worksheet that will
help you track your daily use of water, click
Return to WatershED Table of Contents