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Snowpack at 131 percent, but Utilities cautious about water usage

       Although the snowpack is high, Colorado Springs Utilities is taking a cautious approach.
       The city-owned enterprise is recommending that City Council stay in Stage I of the Colorado Springs Water Shortage Ordinance (which went into effect Jan. 1). Stage I means any water restrictions are voluntary. The city was in Stage II for about half of last year, with watering limited to two days a week during the warmer months.
       Also, Utilities has begun offering classes on “water-wise” planting and irrigation, free and open to the public, through mid-August at the Colorado Springs Utilities Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road.
       Class dates and times are available on the Utilities website. Reservations are not required; however, seating is limited and first come, first served.
       Regarding the snowpack, a Utilities press release states:
       “Entering April, the water outlook is more positive when compared to this time last year. Snowpack in the Upper Colorado Basin, the major source of the community's water supply, is 131 percent of average. Early forecasts report that water storage could be at greater than two years once the snowpack melts and is collected.”
       Last year at this time, Utilities told City Council that the snowpack was 52 to 64 percent of average in the city's watersheds. That led to the Stage II decision taking effect April 1, 2013.
       “Still, drought and water shortages are only one dry winter away in Colorado,” the press release continues. “Customers are encouraged to keep using water wisely and use the savings tips offered at csu.org.”

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 3/27/14; Community: Ongoing Issues)

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