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Drought Resource Center

Drought Restrictions – none

Winter watering tips

What is drought?

Where does our water supply come from?

What is Centennial Water doing?

What can you do?


Winter watering tips

This fall has been extremely warm and dry. Centennial Water and the Highlands Ranch Metro District understand the concerns residents may have for the health of their landscaping. In typical years, minimal outside watering is necessary during the fall and winter due to increased precipitation. However, Centennial Water provides a small outdoor water budget to supplement precipitation when conditions are dry.

In addition to an indoor water budget, residential customers receive 1,000 gallons of water per billing cycle for outdoor use. Commercial accounts receive an additional water budget based on their meter size. This wintertime water budget is intended to keep trees, shrubs and other vegetation (non-grass) healthy during dry spells.

The districts understand you may also be concerned about your grass during this time. Winter is the natural time of year for grass to go into dormancy. Dormancy is your lawn’s way of going to sleep. When grass goes dormant, it shuts down and turns brown in order to conserve water and nutrients. As spring approaches, the grass will naturally green/wake-up and resume growth.

Centennial Water recommends customers hand water if necessary during warm, dry periods. This ensures you know exactly where water is going and approximately how much you have applied. This will help you stay within your allotted water budget.

The Metro District’s Parks and Parkways Manager Dirk Ambrose provides additional advice for winter watering. Ambrose recommends watering when temperatures are above 40 degrees and when the ground is not frozen. “Trees are best watered with a root feeder or other direct watering device; 10 gallons of water per month should be applied for each inch of tree diameter with newer trees receiving that amount weekly,” said Ambrose. “Newer trees are more susceptible to damage from dry conditions but all plant material needs water during these extremely warm, dry spells. South facing landscapes may need more water than the rest of your property. Always remember to disconnect hoses and/or drain down sprinkler systems when done.”

To see your water budget, look no further than your water bill. You can find your current budget, your budget in the next billing cycle, and the amount of water in gallons you have used.

For more information, email info@centennialwater.org.

What is drought?

Drought is a deficiency of precipitation and abnormally dry weather over an extended period of time resulting in a water shortage. It usually spans a season or more.

What is the U.S. Drought Monitor?

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a map released every Thursday, showing parts of the United States that are in drought. The map uses five classifications: abnormally dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought: moderate (D1), severe (D2), extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4).

U.S. Drought Monitor – Colorado
January 18, 2022


Where does our water supply come from?

Water supply is not strictly a matter of how much precipitation falls. There are a lot of things that come together to impact the amount of water in our storage reservoirs.

Click image to download a printable version.

What is Centennial Water doing?

Centennial Water staff are proactively planning and taking steps to ensure it can continue to provide safe, sustainable and reliable water to our customers during drought conditions. An internal drought coordination group meets regularly to assess current conditions and discuss future steps. In addition, staff participate in a Denver-metro Drought Coordination Group with 14 other water utilities to coordinate and offer cooperation around sharing ideas, tools and messaging.

Centennial Water has a Drought Response Plan which guides the Centennial Water Board of Director’s decisions regarding drought conditions. The plan is designed to maximize available water supplies and reduce water use during times of water shortage caused by drought.

What can you do?

Centennial Water is asking customers to practice water conservation in and around their homes. The following rules help to reduce water waste in the community, which in turn help sustain water resources for the future.

  • Outdoor irrigation is not allowed from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. May 1 through Sept. 30
  • Hand watering trees and shrubs is allowed anytime if a hose is held and equipped with a shut off device.
  • Wasteful water practices are prohibited and may result in a fine. This includes allowing excess water to flow into street gutters or neglecting to repair leaks. issues must be addressed within 10 days of identification.

Fix leaks

Water leaks inside and outside the home can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. Many are simple fixes, while other leaks may require consultation with a plumber or a landscape irrigation system professional.

Don’t set it and forget it

Water requirements change throughout the season and so should irrigation run times. Adjusting your controller throughout the year should become routine. The table to the right shows approximately daily run times for different types of sprinkler heads. For best results, water no more than three times per week. Water only as needed in April and October, and remember to turn off irrigation systems for the year the second week of October.

Read your meter

Your water meter is the key tool to help you learn how much water you use and to help identify possible leaks. It’s a good idea to periodically check and record water use so you can identify when you may be approaching your allocated water budget amount.

Click here to learn more about how to read your meter.

Slow the Flow – free irrigation inspections

Centennial Water partners with Resource Central to offer irrigation inspections to residential customers. The inspection will reveal the efficiency of irrigation systems and you will be provided suggestions to improve it. The beginning of summer is a great time to use this service. Call Resource Central at 303-999-3820 or click here to schedule your appointment.


Water conservation

Centennial Water incentive programs

Resource Central

U.S. Drought Monitor

National Drought Mitigation Center