Wheat Ridge lakes and streams contribute greatly to the livability and health of our community by providing substantial opportunities for recreation and habitat for wildlife. Clear Creek is an especially important part of the Wheat Ridge community, shown by its prominence in the city’s logo and the development of the greenbelt to preserve the Clear Creek corridor for future generations. However, growing populations and associated pollution increasingly strain the water quality of our lakes and streams.
Many of the Clear Creek’s water quality problems originate upstream from Wheat Ridge, but there are steps our community can take to improve water quality and aquatic life. Sustainable Wheat Ridge (SWR) suggests that efforts to both conserve water and improve water quality must be two-pronged:
- Substantial voluntary efforts put forth by residents and businesses within Wheat Ridge.
- New incentives, regulations, or dedicated funding streams are necessary to ensure the long-term health of Clear Creek, and the city’s lakes and other water bodies.
The following are the action plan goals set-up by the SWR for the water focus area:
- Improve stormwater management systems and increase water quality in all major waterways and water bodies in Wheat Ridge.
- Increase the adoption of water efficiency and conservation measures to reduce citywide water usage.
For more information on the water focus area please see the SWR Action Plan
Ways You Can Help Wheat Ridge Meet Water Quality Goals
Ways that you can help the City of Wheat Ridge preserve the quality of its water:
- Use low flow shower heads, faucets and toilets.
- Remove lawn in favor of low water xeric plant material and rock.
- Only wash full loads of dishes or laundry.
- Turn the faucet off when you brush your teeth.
- Did you know everything we buy, use, and do comes with its own water footprint?
Seven Principles of Water-Wise Landscaping
- Plan and design for water conservation, beauty and utility - Water savings do not happen by accident or by just placing a few xeric plants around the landscape; it requires planning.
- Hydrozone - Select plants appropriate to our climate, group them according to water need, and then actually irrigating according to water need.
- Water efficiently with appropriate irrigation methods - Of all the principles, watering efficiently has the greatest water savings potential for the typical landscape. The average homeowner uses twice the amount of water than lawns and gardens actually need. Efficient irrigation includes attention to design, maintenance, and management.
- Create practical turf and non-turf areas - Water-wise landscaping is not anti-turf, but rather matching the turf type to the actual use of the site. This is a change from the typical landscape design where high-input lawn is the common ground covering.
- Improve the soil - With improved soils, plants reach a larger supply of water.
- Mulch to reduce evaporation - Mulch with drip irrigation can reduce water use by 50 percent.
- Maintain with good horticultural practices - Healthy plants are more tolerant of summer heat and wind.
Read more about Water Conservation In and Around the Home.