For Immediate Release March 21, 2013
Wes Lowrie, Environmental Services, 303-651-8814
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Longmont City Council Updated on Drought and Water Supply
MARCH 21, 2013 - Colorado continues to experience unusually dry conditions and the City of Longmont is affected by these conditions. On Tuesday night, City Council was given an update on the status of the current drought and how it is impacting the City's water supply and facilities. While the City continues to project sufficient water supplies for potable water use for the current water year, drought conditions are beginning to have an impact on other areas.
City Council annually adopts a Water Supply and Drought Management Plan which guides City action during times of drought. A copy of that plan can be found on the City's web site at: http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/pwwu/water/index.htm.
This plan currently does not call for any mandatory watering restrictions, as the City's projected water supply for this year and next year exceeds 135% of the projected demand over this time period. The water supply projections are sufficiently close to the trigger point that the City has begun planning for the possibility of needing to implement a Level One drought response.
In the instance of a level one drought declaration, citizens are asked to voluntarily conserve 10% of their normal water demand and the City implements a mandatory 10% savings for municipal use of water. A few of the actions the City is already undertaking follow.
A mandatory 10% water use savings for municipal facilities has been implemented. While the City does not intend to begin watering parks until after April 15th, citizens will see certain preparatory activities taking place. The City of Longmont began preparing the irrigation systems throughout the City’s parks the week of March 11th. This includes charging the main lines and pump systems and inspecting the systems for optimal performance. Citizens will see irrigation systems being tested for operability before April 15th.
The recently constructed Dry Creek Community Park, located in Southwest Longmont just south of Silver Creek High School, may look complete but it is still in a very critical time for landscape establishment. Therefore to preserve investments in landscaping installed this past year, this park will begin irrigation in early April ahead of the schedule to begin watering in the rest of the City's parks. The City’s goal is to maintain our parks for the use and enjoyment of all residents and visitors.
Similar to parks, the Golf Courses have begun charging irrigation systems and checking the systems for operability. Due to the high traffic use and value of the special turf on tees, greens and some fairway areas, some watering of those areas has been initiated. Watering of the overall general golf course areas will wait until April 15th.
In years when the City's water supply well exceeds its demands, the City leases surplus water to other area water users. As part of the water supply evaluation, City Council concurred with the determination that Longmont would not have sufficient surplus water to continue the City's normal surplus water rental program to area agricultural producers in 2013. Council asked staff to continue to evaluate this program as the year progresses.
The City is currently at the Sustainable Conservation Level as identified in the Drought Management Plan and will continue to implement Best Management Practices to conserve our water resources. The City of Longmont thanks all citizens for your efforts to conserve water to date and ask you to continue to conserve water whenever possible.
The City of Longmont would like to remind water customers that March 18 – 24 is National Fix a Leak Week. Please stop by the Customer Service Center at 1100 S. Sherman Street for a free toilet leak detection kit.