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  • Writer's pictureUte Water

Ute Water no longer pumping from Colorado River

As of November 1st, the District is no longer pumping water from the Colorado River and will no longer be charging the two-percent Drought Pumping Rate. The Drought Pumping Rate was implemented on July 1st, 2021, to offset the increased costs that occur when the District pumps from the Colorado River. Pumping water from the Colorado River was a direct result of exceptional drought conditions, and in an effort to preserve the water stored in the District’s terminal reservoirs, Jerry Creek No. 1 and No. 2., the District utilized secondary water sources from the Colorado River and blended it with water from the Plateau Creek watershed.

It was the first time since the District’s inception 65 years ago that water from the Colorado River had been utilized to supplement demand due to drought conditions.

Drought Pumping Rate no longer charged

The two-percent Drought Pumping Rate was implemented to offset the increased costs that occur when the District pumps from the Colorado River, including an increased use in electricity, increased costs in chemicals to treat Colorado River water, as well as maintenance costs from using our pump stations. “When our board implemented the Drought Pumping Rate, it was to cover the increased costs of electrical, chemicals, and maintenance that are affiliated with pumping from the Colorado River, with the promise that when we recouped the costs from pumping, the Drought Pumping Rate would be eliminated,” says General Manager, Larry Clever. “Beginning November 1st, we are going to keep that promise and do just that.”

Water quality impacts

Due to the severity of drought conditions this past year, aesthetic water quality will not return to historical levels. “We will still need to utilize multiple water sources in the Plateau Creek watershed, but customers will see a reduction in water hardness and calcium carbonate levels compared to those when we were blending with Colorado River water,” says Dave Payne, Assistant Manager. “Although these water quality improvements are substantial, customers may still experience moderate hardness levels in their tap water. We encourage all customers to visit our Water Quality Dashboard that is updated weekly at to access updated water quality information.”

Water Quality dashboard

Customers can continue to view the District's Water Quality Dashboard by visiting to learn more about the District's water quality. The dashboard will be updated weekly information is reflective of the previous week's water quality.

The "Our Water" webpage also includes frequently asked questions addressing the District's water quality.

Drought information

Drought is still persistent on our local community and state. Even during the winter months, water conservation is vital to preserving the water we currently have saved.

Find more helpful tips, resources, education, and information on how you can reduce your use through our collaborative committee, Drought Response Information Project (DRIP).

Customers are always encouraged to contact the District at (970) 242-7491 with any questions.

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