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Colo. Springs Utilities says recent snow not enough for drought relief

By Rachael Plath, Good Morning Colorado Meteorologist/Reporter, r.plath@krdo.com
Published On: Apr 17 2013 07:30:53 PM CDT

Recent snow storms have increased snowpack, but Colorado Springs Utilities said it is not enough to reduce concern about water storage levels.

Spring storms have brought plenty of snow to the region, and the recent snows have prompted several ski resorts to extend their seasons.

Colorado Springs Utilities said the snow is badly needed, but said it would not be enough to overcome the current drought.

“This feels really good today.  It’s nice to see the snow but it’s just not making a huge dent in our overall system,” said Patrice Lehermeier, CSU spokesperson.

The additional snowfall has increased statewide snowpack to 82 percent of average, up 10 percent from last month, but it is still below average.

“Up in the mountains, anything that we can get helps but long-term we really need much more than what we’re seeing in the mountains.  I mean, we’re talking about back-to-back drought years,” said Lehermeier.

Lehermeier said the benefit to the colder temperatures and the snow is that during the month of March and April, Colorado Springs residents have not needed to water their lawns.  She said this has already saved 500 million gallons of water.

“We’re looking at saving $5.8 billion as a community by the end of summer, so we just knocked off a half a billion,” she said.

CSU said they plan to continue enforcing water restrictions through the irrigation season.

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