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Despite recent rainfall, watering restrictions remain

By Rachael Plath, Good Morning Colorado Meteorologist/Reporter, r.plath@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 12 2013 07:43:41 AM CDT

Colorado Springs Utilities said watering restrictions will remain in place because recent rainfall has not increased the city’s water storage, which is located primarily in the mountains.

Colorado Springs has received 1.64 inches of rain so far this month, which is 0.89 inches above the average for the entire month.

Despite this increase in rainfall, Colorado Springs Utilities said the water restrictions will be staying in place.

“It helps our storage in the fact that our demands go down when our customers don’t use water, but in terms of actually being able to store that rain or boost our supply it really doesn’t help that,” said Abby Ortega, Colorado Springs Utilities’ water supply planning supervisor.

Ortega said mountain reservoirs remain about 17 percent below where it should be.

She said CSU is making the most responsible decision with respect to water supply, as the amount of water that restrictions will save is close to $30 million.

There are a few areas that have loosened or lifted previously imposed water restrictions. 

Aurora is one of these locations, but CSU said Aurora did not lift its restrictions based upon high water storage.

“Aurora’s public relations officer did say that it was based solely on public pressure and not on water supply and that they are still in a serious water supply situation they’re only at 67 percent of capacity and that’s really low,” Ortega said.

There is a board meeting next Wednesday at which CSU will discuss the current restrictions.  While there is a chance the restrictions and/or tiered pricing policy may be modified, Ortega said the city’s storage has a long ways to go before this would be a good idea.

“I feel like from a water supply standpoint, we’re doing the most responsible thing for our customers.  We’re looking at making sure we have supply for them in the future,” she said.

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