Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Bill Ritter introduces 90 By 20 Campaign: Dry up, Parker

With rain finally pouring down, it's much easier to think about water conservation than it has been through this long, hot summer. So former Governor Bill Ritter picked a perfect time to host a teleconference for the 90 By 20 Campaign, which is aimed at reducing usage across the Colorado River Basin to ninety gallons per customer per day by 2020.

That's not as daunting as it may sound -- unless your suburban lawn slurps up water. According to Denver Water, the average use of its customers is already at 85 per capita per day, below the 90 gallon benchmark of this program. But in thirsty Parker, residential users average 123 GPCD.

More than 6,000 people called in to the teleconference. "The response we had on the call was tremendous," Ritter said. "Clearly Coloradans understand the singular nature of the 800,000 jobs and 35,000,000 drinking water consumers that the Colorado River supports. To sustain and restore the river, we need to adopt 90 By 20 and like measures."

According to the campaign, if every community along the Colorado River basin were to adopt the 90 By 20 benchmark, the water savings in one year would be enough to service the entire city of Denver for three years.

And forget Parker!

Find out more about the initiative at . And watch a video of Ritter discussing the Colorado River campaign below:

Barack Obama will be back in Colorado tomorrow. Last month, protesters sent him another message. See it in "Photo: Colorado River crop design activists want Barack Obama to see."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun