Colorado Springs Utilities is preparing for a water shortfall this summer. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the utility is proposing water restrictions and would like to revise water rates to discourage heavy use.

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Utilities CEO Jerry Forte told city council yesterday that 2013 is shaping up to be one of the worst water years on record.

“We are looking at a significant—I’ll call it crisis.”

The utility wants to restrict outdoor watering to two days a week, starting April 1st. Officials are also proposing what they call “drought response pricing” for residential customers. Those who stay within the restriction would likely see no change in their bill. But, Chief Water Services Officer Gary Bostrom says customers who fall above a specified threshold would pay double the normal rate for the excess volume.

“We need to encourage people to use less water through rates.”

Under the plan, non-residential customers would see higher rates on volume above their baseline use. Council is expected to decide today whether to set the matter for public hearing at the end of March.


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