Record setting moisture throughout the month of April has provided short-term relief from the persistent drought conditions along the Front Range. After reviewing the snowpack and water storage numbers, the City has been able to relax our summer watering restrictions.
On May 7th the City Council reduced the current drought designation from Stage 2 to a Stage 1. Because the early spring and summer runoff flows will meet demands and storage needs, is no longer necessary to impose mandatory outdoor water use restrictions.
To help promote the prudent use of the City’s water resources, customers are still subject to a best practices ban on watering between 10 AM and 6 PM and we will continue to enforce waste of water fines. Customers observed wasting water will receive a door hanger or verbal warning and may face fines of up to $1,000 if there are continuing violations. Additionally, the City encourages customers to voluntarily observe a two-day per week watering schedule.
We are not out of the woods for the entire summer. If there is a very hot late spring and summer, there is the possibility that we may have to institute additional restrictions in July or August. In the meantime, we ask you to water responsibly and only use what you need.
What water restrictions are still being enforced?
- NO outdoor watering between 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- NO wasting water (such as irrigating that results in water running into the street);
these provisions make sense to encourage water conservation regardless of weather conditions
What is the rationale for the less stringent policy?
- The latest storm put the snow water equivalent (SWE) at the two snotel stations closest to the South Boulder Creek watershed (Lake Eldora and University Camp) at 116% and 92% of the median for the date (see charts below). This will likely give Louisville enough water in South Boulder Creek in May and June to fill the City’s reservoirs and completely satisfy expected demand, even if it is hot and dry during that period. Not using the water that is available during that period would unnecessarily penalize the City’s water customers and not take best advantage of the water rights we have available.
- Restricting water use during this period would also result in the City unnecessarily spending more resources on communications to explain, and staff to enforce, restrictions that don’t make sense to the average person.
- If we have a very hot and dry summer, it may still be necessary to impose use restrictions at a later date. However, the composition of the City’s water rights portfolio mean that imposing use restrictions in the May and June period is unnecessary this year, and as noted above, would not enable the City to build up reserves for later in the water season.
Do you have additional questions?
Questions about water billing, please contact Chris Rodriguez (303.335.4501).
Questions about watering and water use in the Parks, please contact Polly Boyd (303.335.4735).