Want to be greener? Learn more about sustainability in the Yampa Valley:

Water Conservation and Quality

As more demands are placed on our valuable local water resources, water conservation and quality is a key part of creating a sustainable community. 

Easy Tips to Reduce Water Waste Year-Round:


  • Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
  • 25% of your energy bill goes to heating water to shower, bathe and clean. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.


  • Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street, and set your system to operate during minimal-evaporation hours (before 9 am and after 5 pm).
  • Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
  • Instead of planting in the spring, plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
  • Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants to retain moisture and save water, time and money.


  • For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
  • Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it’s moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough moisture.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost food waste instead and save gallons every time.


  • Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.
  • Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
  • Teach children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.

Colorado’s Water Plan Recap Video (11/19/2015)

State of the Watershed Report (10/20/14)

Stormwater Task Force and Master Final Plan (10/15/13)

View Water Tips Info Sheet
Blogpost- archive of articles on Water Conservation – 10/12/12

Local and statewide water information and conservation resources:
Mount Werner Water District
City of Steamboat Springs, Water Conservation in the Yampa Valley
Community Water Conservation Plan
Upper Yampa Water-Quality Data
Rainwater Harvesting (YVSC’s Talking Green, August 2010)
Friends of the Yampa
Community Agriculture Alliance
Colorado Division of Water Resources
Colorado State University Extension
Denver Water Board
Colorado Water Wise
EPA WaterSense