How did they flush the toilet on the Death Star?

Mile High Water Talk

And four other water questions to ponder about Luke, Chewbacca and the gang.

Yoda meme Yoda credit: cmiper, Flickr Creative Commons

By Steve Snyder and Jay Adams

It’s May 4, also known in some circles as Star Wars Day. (“May the Fourth Be With You.” Get it?)

And as “Star Wars” geeks ourselves, we hope that fans of the iconic films will appreciate our tribute, which comes, as you would expect, with a water twist.

While you may not realize it, the films explore some fascinating water issues. Many planets were covered with it, and several species evolved in it.

With that in mind, we present our top five burning questions (and answers) about water a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

  1. Is the water connection in “Star Wars” really that strong? Yep. When we meet one of the franchise’s greatest heroes, he is working in the water…

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Running Water, Together

Your Water Colorado Blog

Jerry Gallegos unloading hay to feed cattle Jerry Gallegos feeds his cows an alfalfa mix that he grows with water from the San Luis People’s Ditch. 

From a centuries-old “gentle art” to a modern form of water collective, these irrigators function almost like family.

By Steve Knopper, excerpts from an originally published piece in the Winter 2016 issue of Headwaters magazine

Every March, in the tiny southern Colorado town of San Luis, some 25 representatives from 62 family farms attend a meeting at the old courthouse. They get down to business quickly—no refreshments or snacks.

First, they appoint a mayordomo, an irrigation expert who plots out a strict watering schedule for 1,062 acres of farmland along the San Luis People’s Ditch. The mayordomo spends the summer making sure all the farmers on the ditch get their fair share of water, and fixes problems with flooding by contacting a platoon of neighbors who come out with their shovels…

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Denver authorizes gray water program

Summit County Citizens Voice

ghj A new gray water program in Denver could help temper demand for new water development projects in Colorado. @bberwyn photo.

City takes big step toward more sustainable water use

Staff Report

Denver, Colorado took a big step toward meeting an ambitious 20 percent water conservation target by passing an ordinance authorizing the use of gray water for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. The city hopes to cut per capita use of potable water by 20 percent by 2020.

Enabling large water users like hotels, multi-family residential complexes and dormitories, as well as industrial facilities, to use gray water will not only help conserve a valuable resource, it will help those facilities save money.

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Environment: Can dams be operated without killing rivers?

Summit County Citizens Voice

Glen Canyon Dam. Image courtesy NASA Earth Observatory. Glen Canyon Dam. Image courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

New study eyes impacts to aquatic insects

Staff Report

Using a vast sample of data collected in a citizen science project, researchers say they’ve been able to discern how hydropeaking affects aquatic insects that form the base of river food chains. The information could help resource managers develop alternative hydropower practices that aren’t as harmful to ecosystems, according to a new study published in the journal BioScience.

Hydropeaking refers to the practice of increasing river flows at times of peak demand, generally during the day. This study shows how abrupt water level changes affect aquatic insects in every stage of life. The research was done by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon State University, Utah State University and Idaho State University.

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Watering rules when we’re drought-free? You betcha.

Mile High Water Talk

5 things you should know about Denver Water’s 2016 summer watering rules.

By Jimmy Luthye

Watering rules at Denver Water date back to at least 1922. They’ve transcended droughts, wet periods, “normal” weather times, wars, a plethora of presidents, disco and three (!!!) Broncos Super Bowl championships.

And they continue this year, despite the glorious precipitation we’ve received thus far.

“We’re fortunate we’ve had a wet year so far, which means our water supply is in good shape,” said Mike King, Denver Water’s director of planning. “But in Denver, conservation is in our DNA, and that can never change. You never know when the next dry stretch may hit, but we know it’s coming.”

Indeed, as we’ve seen in Colorado, droughts are as difficult to predict as wet stretches. At Denver Water, we have to prepare for both.

With that, here they are: five things you should…

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Rules are made to be broken, except this one

Mile High Water Talk

Summer watering rules run from May 1 to Oct. 1 and promote healthy lawns            

By Kim Unger

I have always had a bit of a rebellious side. Tell me I can’t or shouldn’t do something? I just might test those boundaries and do it anyway.

When it comes to maintaining my lawn, however, there are some rules I just don’t mess with: Summer watering rules.

So why would I forego my urge to buck the system? It’s simple, really — I want a healthy, green lawn, and I want to save water too.

I don’t view the watering rules as a restriction, but merely a helpful guide to the best ways to water your lawn. This infographic breaks it all down.

watering-rules-infographic_FINALweb

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Watershed: It’s not a building for storing water

Mile High Water Talk

Denver Water celebrates Arbor Day with a tribute to Mother Nature’s own water filtration process.

Denver Water knows firsthand the debilitating consequences forest fires can have on a watershed. In 2002, the Hayman Fire burned thousands of acres near Denver Water’s Cheesman Reservoir, as shown in this photo. Denver Water knows firsthand the debilitating consequences forest fires can have on a watershed. In 2002, the Hayman Fire burned thousands of acres near Denver Water’s Cheesman Reservoir, as shown in this photo.

By Kristi Delynko and Steve Snyder

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.”

Hold on. No need to be confused. Despite the poetic interlude, you are still on Denver Water’s site. But it’s Arbor Day, and we want to show our appreciation for trees.

So why does a water utility care about trees (beyond the obvious reasons why most of us love trees)?

One simple word: watersheds.

Now that’s a word you don’t hear every day. And no, it’s not a temporary building for storing water.

When it rains, or when mountain snow begins to…

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