Water Conservation

The City of Montrose enjoys the benefit of water rights and storage that are sufficient to continue serving its customers through periods of drought. While water use restrictions are not being contemplated during this exceptionally dry and warm period, it is wise for residents to take simple and practical steps to reduce water consumption, both in times of abundance and scarcity.

In 2016, the city adopted a Water Conservation Plan, following a public review and comment process. The plan provides an overview and history of the city's water supply and systems, historical information, conservation measures, and drought contingency plans.

By simply being more water conscious, we can find a variety of daily activities, both inside and outside the home, where water use can be minimized. Water is a shared resource and all of us have the responsibility to use it wisely.

Reducing water consumption outside your home


Overall water use in the city is four times higher in June, July and August than in November, December and January. This simple statistic highlights the opportunity to dramatically reduce water consumption by making water-wise landscaping choices.

Common misconceptions - Xeric or water-wise landscaping does not mean "cactus gardens". For example, planting a nice shade tree can do as much to reduce water use as conversion of our landscapes to drought-tolerant plants. Shade from trees not only reduces the water needs of turf and adjacent shrubs but also reduces the costs associated with cooling our homes.

Tap local experts - Local resources are available to help educate residents about water conservation in residential landscapes. The Montrose Botanic Garden is a great place to visit to get a first-hand look at the plants that you can plant in your xeric landscape. The garden also has interpretive signs and demonstration grass plots that showcase local drought-tolerant grass species.

The Montrose CSU Extension Office is another local resource that can help answer any landscape related questions. The Mesa County Extension Office has a fabulous demonstration garden with a wide variety of plants adapted to arid climates. 

Some other tips for reducing water consumption outside your home include:
  • Selecting shrub, tree and plant varieties that are compatible with our dry climate. 
  • Opting for smaller lawn areas, combined with grass varieties that demand less water.
  • Avoiding watering lawns during windy conditions or during the heat of the day and adjust the frequency and duration of watering based on grass variety, soil conditions, temperature and precipitation. Less frequent and deeper watering promotes deeper root growth and increases resistance to drought and disease.
  • Using mulch around plants in flower beds and gardens to help reduce evaporation and weeds.

Taking water-saving measures inside your home


Actions we take to reduce water consumption inside our homes make a difference year-round. For example, approximately 75 percent of the city’s water taps were placed in service prior to the establishment of national water efficiency standards. Residents can realize large water savings by replacing older, water-hungry toilets, showerheads, faucets, and appliances with high-efficiency models. 

Toilets manufactured since 1994 are designed to use 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) whereas some older models use 3.5 or more per flush. The city has a rebate program for replacing older toilets with new high-efficiency models. To be eligible, the model must be a qualified WaterSense labeled toilet that uses either 1.0 gpf ($25 rebate) or 0.8 gpf ($50 rebate). Residents can claim a rebate credit on their water bill by submitting an application to the city. 

Here are some simple actions that can accumulate to big water savings:
  • Promptly repairing leaking fixtures can save as much as 200 gallons per day for toilets and five for faucets.
  • Installing a low-flow showerhead can cut water usage by up to 20K gallons per year and save up to 10 percent on water heating costs.
  • Reduce the amount of time you use showering.
  • Install aerators on sinks.
  • Turn water off while brushing your teeth.
  • Fill your sink with a little hot water to use while shaving rather than running hot water continously.
  • Don't use toilets as trash cans.

In-home Water Saving Resources

Toilet Replacement Rebate Program Rules and Application
EPA WaterSense Info on Showerheads
EPA WaterSense Info on Bathroom Faucets