by Pam Zubeck
Remember how dry 2002 was? Remember conservation rules that limited residents to irrigating their lawns twice a week? Restrictions lasted until 2005 and now could make a comeback under a proposal from Colorado Springs Utilities to curtail water use in this period of drought. Utilities issued this release today:
Colorado Springs Utilities staff will propose to City Council at its informal meeting two days a week water restrictions to help rebuild our community's water supply. A formal recommendation will be presented March 20, and if approved, restrictions would take effect April 1.
Extreme, dry conditions persist in local and remote mountain watersheds. In 2012, normal, while average temperatures were 109 percent of normal. Last year, Colorado also experienced the second warmest statewide average annual temperatures. These climate conditions, partnered with back-to-back lower-than-average snow pack yields and increased demand, has put stress on Colorado Springs’ water supply. It is critical to rebuild this supply to protect public health and safety, as well as support economic vitality.
In addition, staff will propose price adjustments to encourage water savings. This is in alignment with many Front Range cities, including Fort Collins, Denver and Aurora. Doing so increases awareness of the importance of saving water during drought, supports business and economic vitality, and minimize bill impact to customers who follow water conservation practices and restriction.
The proposal will be outlined during the City Council informal meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. today at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.
Currently, voluntary watering restrictions of one day per month for the winter are currently in place.
The following photos demonstrate the effects of the drought on North Catamount Reservoir. The first was taken in August 2005, the other was shot in October 2012. Both were provided by a reader.