Colorado Springs city council has voted to restrict outdoor watering to two days a week, starting April 1. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, they also adopted new drought water rates intended to persuade customers to reduce usage.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Colorado springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte told council members now is the time to act. The area is experiencing an unprecedented water shortage, and Forte says the utility needs more tools to encourage conservation.

“If we don’t do the right things this year, it could potentially put next year in serious jeopardy. And then we won’t be talking about lawns that are brown, we’ll be talking about vegetation that can’t be watered at all outside.”

Under the new rules, Residential customers with even numbered house addresses can water Sunday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Saturday if it’s an odd number. The restrictions apply to sprinklers, but drip irrigation and hand watering is allowed any time. The price of water will also temporarily double for residential use over 2,000 cubic feet. Utilities officials say 75 percent of customers typically fall below that level.


First violations would draw a warning, while a second violation could incur a $300 fine.

 

4 Responses to Water Restrictions Set for Colorado Springs

  1. volcheff@msn.com says:

    I applaud all efforts to conserve water and support responsible, environmental efforts. I understand water users who exceed the monthly maximum of 2000 CF will have to pay double rates on water used. Two questions. 1). This goes into effect on April 1 but my water meter was last read on March 25. How does Springs Utilities account for those 6 end of the month days before water rationing went into effect and the next time they read my meter where I could be over 2000CF?

    2) On the Springs Utilities side of the issue, the utility is obviously not paying double for the water they provide me over 2000CF so the whole point is trying to modify my behavior. I got it. However, when utilities makes a windfall profit from penalizing folks that exceed 2000CF each month, what are their intentions to use that windfall to initiate or improve their conservation efforts. In other words, where does the money go they get from penalties they assess on water users?

  2. Ben says:

    I’m pretty sure my apartment complex has been running the sprinkler on back to back nights. Also the system froze and burst earlier allowing a lot of water to escape. But they brake the total bill up among tenants. Where I’m from you couldn’t get away with this system but it seems that’s common here. They have zero incentive to fix leaks. I’d report them for over watering but I’m sure they’d just add the fine to our bill.

  3. abc says:

    Year after year it seems we are faced with water shortages. Water rates in Colorado Springs are rediculously high. As a result, we are expected to be satisfied with ugly yards and so ugly communities. Eventually our city will be covered with crushed rocks as landscaping because people can’t afford to water their lawns and so grass and trees just die. If it didn’t have the mountains, Colorado Springs would be an ugly city, all because our city leaders do such a poor job of securing water resources. Whatever happened to the water that was to be piped in from the Arkansas river? If we have the water rights, why aren’t we getting the water?

  4. Janet Peirre says:

    Has anyone taken a look at our city lately? It looks horrid!! The area I live in has always been lush and green and now the grass is partly dead and even trees are dieing!! Watering two days a week was needless and our city is going to hell thanks to our city council and utilities company. There will always be those that will try to get away with extra watering in every city. The double fines are ridiculous given all the people out of work. It’s going to cost the residents even more to have to replant grass etc once this is lifted. It’s time to vote out the new city council as it looks like they’re not going to do anything about it either!!

News

AP
July 30, 2014 | NPR · The Senate is expected to pass the measure this week. It would expand government programs and provide funds for vets who are unable to access VA services to see private doctors.
 

AP
July 30, 2014 | NPR · House Republicans say that the president has overstepped the bounds of his executive authority. President Obama dismissed the move as a “political stunt.”
 

Mike McCune/Flickr
July 30, 2014 | NPR · A food blogger says dozens of distilleries are buying rye whiskey from a factory in Indiana and using it in bottles labeled “artisan.”
 

Arts & Life

July 30, 2014 | NPR · In London, a matinee ticket for Matilda costs about $60; in New York, it’s $137. What’s going on? The West End has weaker unions and subsidized theater, while Broadway has amenities.
 

July 30, 2014 | NPR · Syfy channel has cornered the market on a new kind of film: a movie that’s played completely straight, but constructed to look cheesy and easy to ridicule. The best example? Sharknado 2, the sequel to a film so bad it became huge success. Can the network strike gold twice by being stupid on purpose?
 

AP/Warner Bros.
July 30, 2014 | NPR · From silent stars to John Wayne to Iron Man, film critic Bob Mondello looks at the role that Hollywood has played in defining manliness, and how that definition has changed over several decades.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 31, 2014 | NPR · It’s the end of the month, which means it’s time for the best of the month, including new music from Kyle Hall, Tessela, Cassy and more.
 

KCRW
July 30, 2014 | KCRW · L.A. house-music pioneers Doc Martin and Marques Wyatt share a six-song mix on Metropolis.
 

KCRW
July 30, 2014 | KCRW · Two L.A. house-music pioneers, Doc Martin of Sublevel and Marques Wyatt of DEEP, join Jason Bentley on Metropolis to discuss their humble beginnings and share some of their current favorites.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab