Water conservation

Use Less. Have More. Be Water Smart. 

We are lucky to live in a region that experiences snow-packed winters, providing us with snowmelt that fills our rivers and streams, supporting a rich ecosystem, and a multitude of outdoor recreational activities. However, winter in our region is shrinking, with 30 fewer days of frost on average in Aspen. Warmer temperatures mean less snowpack, thereby reducing the water supply. This essential resource is becoming increasingly scarce due to a rapidly increasing population.

In an effort to conserve water, CORE encourages residents, part-time homeowners, and visitors to incorporate water efficiency into their everyday life. If you use water efficiently, we can preserve an essential community resource, protect local rivers and stream habitats, and save money!

What can you do at home to be “water smart”?

  1. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full. You could save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  2. Use a water-efficient shower head. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  3. Replace old faucets with WaterSense labeled products. Save 700 gallons for the average family – equal to about 40 showers worth of water.
  4. Create a 5-minute playlist of your favorite songs and keep your shower time to 5 minutes or less. You could save up to 1,000 gallons a month. Curbing the time you spend in the shower also helps to save energy–the less time you spend using hot water, the less energy is used to heat that water.
  5. Fix those leaks! The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  6. Incorporate “Meatless Mondays” into your routine. Meat production is a major consumer of water. It can take about 600 gallons of water to produce a single hamburger.

What can you do in your yard to be “water smart”?

  1. Use a layer of mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
  2. Consider drip irrigation. It can save 30-50% more water as compared to spray-heads and save up to 30,000 gallons per year.
  3. If drip irrigation isn’t right for you, make sure to use high-efficiency nozzles, which are estimated to save 10-20% of your water.
  4. Check the placement/ direction of your sprinklers to ensure you aren’t watering the driveway, sidewalk, and house, instead of your lawn!
  5. Avoid watering your lawn in the middle of the day. The water will evaporate in the hot sun before your plants can drink it up!
  6. Install water-efficient controls like “smart” irrigation controls, soil moisture sensors, rainfall shutoff devices, and rain sensors. Technology like this can help you adjust your irrigation system so that sprinklers aren’t running when it’s raining. Learn more here.
  7. Starting in August, rain barrels will be legal. Invest in a rain barrel and use the water collected on lawns, plants, and gardens. Colorado recently legalized rain barrels and the capturing of rainwater. Residents can have 2 rain barrels each, collecting a maximum of 110 gallons. More details and tips on incorporating rain barrels into your lifestyle can be found here.

How can you protect our water supply?

  1. Properly dispose of chemicals. Never pour hazardous waste down the drain, on the ground, or in the toilet.
  2. Choose safer, natural, and/or green products, as opposed to chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides when treating your lawns or gardens. And if you are using fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides – use them properly. Apply according to the instructions in order to avoid runoff.
  3. Don’t flush out-of-date medicines down the toilet or drain. Refer to the Roaring Fork Valley Recycling Guide for a list of medication drop-off locations.

Become “water smart” today!

  1. Start by purchasing WaterSense labeled products. WaterSense products are 20% more water efficient than the average.
  2. Sign up for a Home Energy Assessment. The primary focus of home energy assessments is to discover how your home uses energy and identify potential energy upgrades. These assessments also provide participants with $100 worth of quick-fix items that can include faucet aerators and/or low-flow shower heads. In 2015, the Energy Smart program at CORE installed 60 faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads.
  3. Are you a City of Aspen Electric customer? City of Aspen Electric offers a rebate of 50% of the toilet cost up to $75 per toilet, with a maximum rebate of $375 per property. You must be replacing an existing toilet with a new WaterSense certified toilet. Apply for the rebate here.

What is CORE doing?

In 2012, CORE and the Ruedi Water and Power Authority (RWAPA) brought together municipal water providers in the Roaring Fork Watershed (including Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs) to develop a regional water conservation plan. The “Roaring Fork Watershed Regional Water Efficiency Plan” was officially adopted by all communities in 2015, with the goal of reducing water demands by 2,000 acre feet per year between 2030 to 2050.