Colorado

Apr 16, 2013 6:50 PM by Andy Koen

Chilly weather keeps water use low

COLORADO SPRINGS - Snowy rooftops in April, if even just a trace, are a good sign when it comes to the drought. There may not be enough moisture to actually help irrigate the lawn, but the freezing cold temperatures have kept most of us from turning on the sprinklers.

"The weather is definitely helping us," said Abby Ortega, the planning supervisor for water supply with Colorado Springs Utilities.

Bracing for drought, City Council approved twice a week water restrictions last month from April through October. But it's been so cold that water use is actually down.

"When we look at last year in March and April, it was warm," Ortega said. "A typical day was 70 degrees and people started watering in mid-March. This year we haven't seen that."

Under the restrictions, using too much water could bring an unpleasant bill in the mail. So, Utilities has made it easier to track just how much water they use. On their website www.csu.org, the "my usage" function tracks daily, weekly and monthly water use for both business and residential customers.

"You can pick a time frame and graph that use against and check it against last year's use and see if you're meeting those goals," Ortega explained.

The weather will eventually warm up and more sprinklers will be turned on. So, Utilities will begin enforcing hourly limits on watering next month to keep the community on track towards a 30 percent overall reduction in water use.

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