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Why is the Rampart Reservoir so low? - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Why is the Rampart Reservoir so low?

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Water levels are so low at Rampart Range Reservoir west of Colorado Springs, the boat ramp is closing for the season at the end of this coming weekend. "That will be closed for the rest of the season,” said Colorado Springs Utilities, Water Resource Manager, Abby Ortega. There are also no motorized boats. Other kinds of hand launched watercraft are still allowed.

The reservoir is down to 60% of capacity when it should be closer to 75%. Looking at the shoreline you can see the water is very low. Some who see the low water are asking if it is because of drought. "With the extreme dry conditions, then you come up and see the reservoir look like this, you kind of wonder why aren't we on restrictions,” said Ortega, “Well it's because our system has a very diverse portfolio." There are 25 reservoirs that supply water to Colorado Springs. Several are full. Ortega says there is currently three years of water in storage.

Rampart is low because a pipe broke in the pumping system that carries water to the reservoir. The system was down for months. "It was about a 3.1 billion gallon hit to the reservoir that we weren't able to pump during that time period," said Ortega. It will now take months to bring the water level back up to a level closer to normal.

The greater concern around water supply reservoirs right now is fire danger. "When you burn the trees in the surrounding watershed around a collection point, you affect the water quality for the product you're going to provide," said Colorado Springs Utilities, Fire Chief, Mike Myers. There are strict burn restrictions in place because of the current extreme dry conditions, but there are continuing reports of burn violations.
 

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