Aurora Water launches a competition to promote bare bones suburban courtyards

AURORA | As the mountain west heads for another historic drought, Aurora’s water department offers to explore a local’s yard to encourage more ergonomic landscaping.

Aurora Water launched a competition this week that promises to overhaul the winner’s yard by removing turf, adding flora, and adding ledges. The raffle is designed to highlight the benefits of a so-called water yard as the state is struggling with below-average snowpacks, resulting in less moisture for front range green skewers.

“Aurora receives approximately 15 inches of rainfall annually, making it difficult to maintain a lawn without significant additional watering during the summer months,” wrote Elizabeth Roberts, Aurora Water spokeswoman, in a press release. “… Low water landscapes often require less than half the water of a Kentucky bluegrass lawn.”

Residents interested in participating in the competition are asked to post a minute-long video explaining why they are earning a converted lawn on their personal Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts and tag @AuroraWaterCO. The local water authorities will judge each video, reduce participants to five finalists and, according to the city, announce a winner on May 22nd.

The program technically starts on April 5th and entries will no longer be accepted after April 30th.

Participants must be Aurora Home Owners, Aurora Water Customers, and at least 18 years of age. Read the full rules here.

Earlier this week, Mayor Mike Coffman encouraged residents to join a national pledge to reduce water use by this month a national conservation measure. If Aurora ranks among the cities with the most pledges by the end of the month, a nonprofit group will hand out prizes to those who signed the online pledge.

Climate experts are preparing for potential water shortages in the west this summer as state snowpack is about 10% below average this week, despite the late spring storms that buried the metroplex, according to Fresh Water News reports this week.

One of the Colorado River Basin’s main reservoirs, Lake Powell, is expected to be only about half full in the coming months, according to data released in early March.

Aurora reservoirs are currently less than two-thirds of their average capacity, Aurora Water’s Greg Baker told Fresh Water News.

Aurora draws its water from the mountains in the basins of the Arkansas, Colorado and South Platte rivers.

“Many customers forget that we may have had good snow down here, but we don’t collect our water here,” Baker told the news network. “It happens up in the mountains.”

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