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Drought Information

Watering Restrictions
Is Your Lawn Too Far Gone?
Taking Care of Trees During the Drought

In response to the Stage 1 drought declaration, Denver Water is 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.

To help save water, Denver Water asks customers to pay close attention to the weather and their landscapes, and only water when necessary. Other tips:

  • Use a day of rain to skip watering.

  • Only water the areas of your yard that are dry. For example, if shady areas look fine, only water the dry areas that get the most sun exposure.

  • Water two minutes less.

Not necessarily.

Kentucky Bluegrass and Fine Fescues will become dormant for several months and can survive without any irrigation.  Recovery is usually complete once irrigation is resumed.

Tall Fescues may thin heavily under prolonged summer drought, as they are not able to become dormant as easily as bluegrass.

Ryegrass does not become dormant and will die from lack of irrigation.

If your bluegrass lawn is mostly dormant this fall season, core aeration will expose the root system to even more dehydration, and is NOT recommended.

Fertilizers for growth are also not recommended.  If your turf is mostly dormant at this time, weed patches are more visible and it would be beneficial to apply a quick-release weed killer to the affected areas or apply spot treatments.  Those pesky weeds will also be competing for water in the spring.

Heavy foot traffic can also affect your lawn's recovery in the spring.  Drought stressed lawns are easily damaged.


During a drought, woody shrubs and trees are susceptible to numerous environmental threats.  The importance of maintaining healthy trees and shrubs should be paramount in the fall months, as they will likely succumb to disease and pests during the winter and springs months if not properly maintained.

Considering the water restrictions in place in Colorado, consumers are urged to apply all outdoor designated watering days to deep root feeding of trees and large shrubs in order to keep the existing root systems healthy and improve likelihood of survival during the 2003 drought season.

Water - Two inches of absorbed water will last 7 to 10 days if the base and surrounding areas are well saturated.  Keep the area free of weeds, which are also seeking water.  Focus watering efforts on hardiest, most well established areas.

Mulch - Apply at least 3 to 4 inches deep and out to the dripline to eliminated evaporation from the extending feeder roots which may be just under the first layer of soil.  Avoid putting much against the trunk of the tree, as it can harbor insects and diseases.

Pruning - Minimal pruning is suggested this year.  Removing too much foliage or too many limbs will leave already thirsty trunks and branches open to sunburn.

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