Jul 292003
Authors: J.J. Babb

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees and no rain in sight, Fort Collins struggles again this summer with a drought and the resulting water restrictions.

On April 1, the Fort Collins City Council approved an ordinance putting Fort Collins on a Level 1 restriction. This ordinance was effective April 21. Level 1 restrictions are similar to the ones faced last summer.

“Voluntary reductions in indoor water use during the winter, following last summer’s successful commitment to outdoor water-use restrictions, have resulted in water use so far this year being almost 14 percent below average use for non-drought years,” said Michael B. Smith, general manager of Fort Collins Utilities, in a press release.

Some of the restrictions in place are as follows:

– No lawn watering is allowed on Monday.

– Sprinkler system maintenance is allowed any time with minimal water use.

– Car washing is allowed using a bucket and hose that has a shut-off nozzle.

– The lawn watering schedule is based on the last number of the street address:

Even residential street addresses: Thursday and Sunday

Odd residential street addresses: Wednesday and Saturday

Commercial: Tuesday and Friday .

Some students feel these watering restrictions have destroyed their lawns.

“(The restrictions) killed my lawn,” said Robert Jacobs a senior health and exercise science major.

CSU facilities manager Doug Nagel agrees the restrictions do not help the landscaping, but do help conserve water usage.

According to Nagel, CSU has created a water usage budget and waters about 450 acre feet compared to the normal 650 acre feet.

“We’ve cut back by about 40 percent,” Nagel said.

Nagel and his employees water enough to keep the grass and shrubs alive and the athletic turf safe.

“I think being on a water budget has helped us plan out our usage,” Nagel said.

But even if one does not like the restrictions, it is against the law to violate them. If a resident is caught

Nagel also believes by cutting water usage at CSU others may have water.

“`It helps so other areas have water, it’s just basic conservation method,” Nagel said.

Although some may not like the water laws violating the city laws on watering may result in a fine from $50 to $1,000 per violation, according to the City of Fort Collins Web site, www.fcgov.com.

Although recent rain and the heavy snow in the winter brought Colorado some drought relief, the water supply remains below normal, according to the Fort Collins City press release.

Junior English major Audrey Fisher believes the restrictions not only help save water but also bring about awareness.

“I think it makes people more aware of the water they actually use and makes them more conscious about how they use it,” Fisher said.

To save water and thus reduce the water demand the city recommends also restricting indoor water use.

The three main ways to do this are:

– Find and repair leaks.

– Install water-saving devices.

– Change your habits to use less water.

“Customers are encouraged to continue to reduce water use as much as possible, both indoors and outdoors, as unrestricted use likely would mean demand would outstrip the water supply,” said Smith in a press release.

For more conservation tips and drought updates, visit www.fcgov.com/water/conserv.php or call the Water Conservation Hotline at 416-2666.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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