July is typically one of the hottest months of the year, and those with Ute Water Conservancy District said they actually see the most water consumption during July. Since we are currently under voluntary water restrictions, the Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) has decided to give out brand new awards, recognizing community members who are going above and beyond when it comes to saving the shared resource.

The winners of the first Tributary Award own a farm in palisade called Sprigs and Sprouts, and they have several creative ways they irrigate their crops. They were recognized because of their advanced aquaponics system, but their water consumption goes beyond just that.

They put a fabric around all their lavender, to prevent weeds from poking through and it stops water from evaporating quickly. Sprigs and Sprouts also capitalizes on the shade, because they are growing tomatoes under a huge tent. “It’s very important that we become water conscious, for everybody’s sake. We’re all in the same boat, whether we like it or not,” said Ruth Elkins, a co-owner of Sprigs and Sprouts.

Conserving water right now is extremely important, especially when July is one of the hottest months of the year. “In June of 2018 our customers used 19.5 million gallons more than they did in June of 2017,” said Joseph Burtard, the external affairs manager for Ute Water Conservancy District.

This is only the first of the tributary awards. DRIP will be giving a commercial water user an award every Tuesday, so stay tuned to see who else in the community is extra water conscious.

Those with DRIP also mentioned the biggest difference in water usage from residents comes from cutting back on watering our lawns. Make sure you are watering in the early morning or evening, so the water does not instantly evaporate.