Denver Water employees deliver conservation rules via ‘Splashstreet Boys’ dance video, taxpayers NOT amused

Denver Water, the public agency handling Denver’s water situation, is drawing attention for parodying the Backstreet Boys.

The parody of the song “I Want It That Way” was produced to remind Denver residents of new water regulations taking effect on May 1st.

“Guidelines include refraining from watering lawns between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., watering only two days a week (adding a third day when needed) and ensuring that cool-season grasses remain at least 2.5 inches long, while warm-season grasses should be kept between 1 to 3 inches,” according to The Denver Post.

Just like the original Backstreet Boys video, the parody is jampacked with “choreographed dance sequences, popped collars and cinematic shots of sprinkles.”


“Tell me why?” some of the lyrics read. “Don’t water more than three days in a week. Don’t water from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Somebody tell the HOA (forgot the HOA…) I water that way.”

Featured in the video are reportedly Denver Water employees, including Jill Harclerode, Steve Snyder, Micky Boehm, Jimmy Luthye, and Nathan Hayes.

The actual Backstreet Boys for their part appear to really like the parody.

“You guys NAILED this,” they reportedly wrote on Instagram this Wednesday.

The responses from the public have been mixed. On YouTube, many appear to like the video.

“As a fellow utility employee (I work at a light company) I LOVE this,” one top-voted comment reads. “[P]utting a fun spin on an important message. So creative and I think there will be followers for sure! Awesome job, never laughed so hard at a water restriction message!”

“Really thought this was going to be lame BUT, wow, this absolutely, unironically slaps. The woman’s facial hair is the cherry on top,” another comment reads.

On the social media platform X meanwhile, folks have been a bit more critical:

The new rules are part of a Water Conservation Policy that began in the early 2000s following a severe drought.

Denver isn’t the only Colorado city dealing with this.

“Aurora is also barring residents from watering their lawns more than three days per week,” according to local station KDVR. “Like Denver, watering is not permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and hand watering of grass lawns follows the same guidelines as an automatic sprinkler in Aurora.”

“Both Denver and Aurora are under water conservation regulations from May 1 through the end of September,” KDVR notes.

But theirs aren’t the toughest water conservation rules in the country. That honor is left to California.

“California’s legislative advisors today lambasted the state’s ambitious proposal to regulate urban water conservation, calling the measures costly and difficult to achieve, ‘in many cases without compelling justifications,'” CalMatters reported in January.

“The proposed rules, unveiled in August, call for more than 400 cities and other water suppliers serving about 95% of Californians to meet conservation targets beginning in 2025,” the reporting continued.

Just last month, California finally decided to ease some of the regulations after massive pushback.

“[T]he state water board’s staff rewrote its blueprint for regulations, proposing less stringent water-saving standards while reducing the number of suppliers that would be required to achieve large cuts of more than 20% and extending the timeline for water reductions an additional five years to 2040,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“If approved by the state board later this year, the proposed regulations, dubbed ‘Making Conservation a California Way of Life,’ would apply to about 400 urban water suppliers, requiring them to adopt water-use budgets and meet locally tailored conservation goals. The latest changes would bring smaller mandatory reductions for many water agencies than had been expected, and would give them more time to take steps to decrease water usage,” the Times’ reporting continued.

Vivek Saxena


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