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Steady rain lately greening things up, not helping drought

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:17:32 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 15 2013 07:46:11 PM CDT

rain pattern over the last month won't help the drought situation, according to Colorado Springs Utilities.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A biblical-like rain pattern over the last month won't help the drought situation, according to Colorado Springs Utilities.

The rain has come in buckets over the last month. Stormtracker 13's Rachael Plath has recorded six consecutive days of rain, and Thursday, 18 of the last 19 days have seen rain.

Water conservation experts with Colorado Springs Utilities said the heavy rain just won't help water storage levels. Accordingly, water restrictions are not likely to be eased. Currently, Colorado Springs Utilities users are limited to two days of watering per week.

There are some silver linings in all those storm clouds, however. Colorado Springs Utilities said a week-to-week comparison of water use rates from last year shows a significant drop thanks to the rainy weather. In 2012, 881.7 million gallons of water was used. With cooler weather this summer and 10 times the rain, only 472.8 million gallons of water was used.

There is also a cosmetic gain with the deluge.

"The rain and precipitation is great for your landscape, but the truth of the matter is our water supply comes from the mountains west of here," said Patrice Lehermeier, of Colorado Springs Utilities.

Lehermeier said drinking water reserves are about 75 percent full. That's enough for close to two years of usage, according to Lehermeier.

She credits water restrictions and other conservation methods with helping boost those levels.

"The program is working," said Lehermeier. "Our community is reaching our water savings goal, however, we do have the clouds to thank over the last few weeks."

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