Archive for November, 2014

Can turkeys really drown in the rain?

Turkey photo iStock croppedYou may have heard the urban legend: If a turkey looks up in a rainstorm, it will drown. As the story goes, turkeys aren’t very smart and will often stare at the sky with their mouths open. Down comes the rain and, well … bye bye birdie.

At Denver Water, we were quite troubled by this tale, particularly with “Turkey Day” right around the corner. And since we are generally fascinated by anything water-related, we decided to investigate.

We’re no animal behavior experts, but our limited research revealed that the turkey drowning story is, in fact, only a legend. And along the way we actually found out a lot about turkeys. You can read more about your favorite Thanksgiving delicacy here, here and here.

So let us give thanks that our fine-feathered, flightless friend isn’t in danger the next time a few storm clouds float by.


This story got us thinking about all we can be thankful for this holiday season. Here’s our list:

  • We are thankful for ample moisture in 2014. The Denver metro area saw 4 more inches of moisture than normal during the irrigation season, from May to September.
  • That was on top of the tremendous snowpack levels from the spring. Our reservoir system is still 94 percent full after a full summer of use, much better than in the drought years of 2012 and 2013.
  • We are thankful for our customers’ continued conservation efforts. This watering season, they used 14 percent less water than in previous years.
  • We are thankful turkeys only drink about a quart of water a day. That’s very efficient compared to similar-sized animals.
  • We are thankful for refrigerators, which are a much better way to thaw your Thanksgiving turkey than cold water. Properly thawing a 12-pound turkey in the sink takes six hours, and when you have to change the water every 30 minutes, it really adds up!
  • And we are thankful for modern technology and the hardworking men and women who don’t mind braving the elements this time of year to ensure our customers have clean water to prepare their Thanksgiving meals.

What about you? Any water-related thanks to share this year?

A lesson from “Speed” on preparing for the unknown

“Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?”

This memorable line from the movie “Speed” may seem farfetched, but highlights why it is vital to prepare for crisis situations — no matter how unlikely they may seem. By bringing together stakeholders to practice emergency responses, the more equipped we all are to coordinate and react to unforeseen situations in the future.

With that in mind, we gathered more than 100 experts from Denver Water and 28 other agencies from the local, state and federal levels, and presented them with a realistic simulation of an extreme flooding event at Dillon Reservoir in Summit County. Then we asked: “What do you do? What do you do?”

Here is how our movie turned out:


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