Unlike other Colorado cities, Fort Collins will not implement
water restrictions in 2004, and it is likely they will not exist in
2005, Fort Collins officials said.
“At the present time we do not anticipate any restrictions for
2004,” said Mike Smith, general manager for Fort Collins
Smith said even in the worse-case scenario, it is unlikely water
restrictions will exist for Fort Collins in 2005.
“A couple years back I remember how tight the rule was for
watering lawns; now it seems the city has some water to fall back
on,” said Francis McGromery, a Fort Collins resident.
McGromery is right. Fort Collins City Manager John Fischbach
lifted all water restrictions back in September 2003 partly because
of water conservation efforts made by the community and a large
carryover of water from the Colorado Big Thompson project.
The Colorado Big Thompson project is a federal project that
diverts, regulates and stores water from the Colorado River on the
Western Slope to the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.
Smith said water restrictions across the state are plagued
geographically. Fort Collins is fortunate because it benefits from
many sources of water, such as the Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre
rivers, he said. Other parts of the state may have less water
resources that force cities to mandate water usage.
The city first adopted mandatory restrictions in July 2002, when
lawn watering was restricted to two days per week. In September
2002, lawn watering was limited to one time per week.
In April 2003, the city council passed a Water Supply Shortage
Response Plan that still included restrictions, but they were much
less stringent than in the past, where specific restrictions were
linked to the percentage of water shortage.
“The community has done an outstanding job conserving water and
enduring the hardship imposed by the restrictions,” Fischbach
City officials still urge residents to voluntarily conserve
water to keep restrictions from popping up again, but the city is
not totally leaving its influence unmasked. The city is
establishing a residential water price-hike Saturday to encourage
water conservation. After a base charge, water costs per gallon
will increase depending on whether the home is for a single family
or is a duplex.
“During 2002 and 2003 we heard a lot of people saying, ‘We did
not know our lawn could survive on so little water,'” Smith said,
who said today’s society is more water conscious than before.
Doug Evans, irrigation specialist of the Collindale Golf Course,
1441 E. Horsetooth Road, said despite whether restrictions exist,
Collindale uses the least amount of water possible in watering the
lush greens and course’s landscape.
“We try to conserve water as much as possible no matter the
situation, drought or no drought,” Evans said.
Although CSU is a separate entity from the city, a university
news release states that by complying with Fort Collins’ past water
restrictions, irrigation water was reduced by roughly 25 percent in
The release also urged students living on campus to reduce their
showers by one minute, which would save the university 6.8 million
gallons of water annually.