GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Though the Western Slope of Colorado remains in drought, there's one silver lining. Ute Water Conservancy spokesman Joe Burtard recently announced that Mesa County's Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) decided universally to keep the area in a Stage 1 Drought, not bump up to Stage 2. "It's an official decision," Burtard said, who noted that voluntary water-saving measures are still needed.DRIP is made up of representatives from all Grand Valley water utility entities - including the City of Grand Junction, the Clifton Water District, the Town of Palisade and Ute Water."The recent storm really boosted all our water sheds," Burtard said. "With a colder spring, that's a big player in preserving the snowpack we have. It's (still) not the greatest, but we will maintain at Stage 1."Yet, even with a recent precipitation boost, area providers still want to send a unified message of conservancy to all water users in Mesa County."In maintaining Stage 1, it can be reevaluated at any time as weather warms in peak demand," Burtard added, noting that staying in Stage 1 is tenuous at best. "There's several triggers that could cause us to move into Stage 2 - reservoir levels, usage of customers (if they're using high quantities of water, it will tap into reserves), emergency pipeline breaks, or a call on the Colorado River (if someone with a senior water right calls for priority)."For more information on the Drought Response Information Project, visit www.thedripwebsite.com.
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