Apr 292004
Authors: James Baetke

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.

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