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Environment

Fewer Colorado Cities Adding Watering Restrictions In 2014

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Robert S. Donovan
/
Creative Commons

Plentiful mountain snowpack means little to no mandatory watering restrictions across Northern Colorado and Denver for the 2014 summer.

Officials in Loveland and Fort Collins don’t anticipate adding watering limits, but the city of Greeley will still keep is three-day-a-week restrictions in place. Donnie Dustin, water resources manager for Fort Collins, said overall storage across the Colorado Big Thompson project is looking positive.

“We’re in a better situation than we were last year [2013] when we were uncertain due to low snowpack and also low storage within the CBT system. That is looking a lot better than it was this time last year,” said Dustin.

Dustin and other water managers say the only factor that could dramatically change things is the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The group will set a water quota — or allotments — for users along the Colorado Big Thompson project April 11.

"Drought or no drought, conservation is always key."

Meantime in Denver, Travis Thompson with Denver Water said they’re feeling very good about their resources.

“There’s nothing unique going on this year. We’re not in any drought stages where we would have additional restrictions,” Thompson said.

Denver Water will continue to have its typical watering rules in effect beginning May 1 and lasting through September. That means there are no assigned watering days like in 2013. Customers are not allowed to water more than three days a week, and they can’t water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to prevent water evaporation

Thompson said Denver Water reservoirs are considerably more full compared to 2013’s low reservoir levels. The low water then, in combination with little rain, had prompted Stage 2 drought restrictions.

“Our reservoirs are looking better than where they typically are in a normal year. With the higher snowpack, we’re in a better position,” he said.

According to Denver Water’s reservoir data, many reservoirs along the South Platte System are nearing or are over capacity including Chatfield, Eleven Mile and Strontia Springs.

While the water situation in Denver looks positive, Thompson said people still need to heed Denver Water’s slogan, “Use Only What You Need.”

“Drought or no drought, conservation is always key,” Thompson said.

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