A dry winter across the state and low mountain snowpack has led many Centennial water districts to start residential and commercial watering restrictions earlier than normal.
The East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District serves roughly 55,000 people in eastern portions of Centennial and unincorporated Arapahoe County, and said as a result of intensifying drought conditions, residential watering will be limited to two days per week, beginning April 15.
Irrigation season will also be pushed back to April 15, two weeks later than previous years. Large irrigators will maintain three watering days per week, but will have watering times reduced from 16 hours to 13 hours per watering day.
“Right now in Colorado, our snowpack is sitting at about 70 percent of average,” said Dave Kaunisto, district manager for East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District. “What we want to do is to make a dent in our conservation efforts as early as possible, and by starting now, hopefully, we’ll be able to make it through the summer.”
While most of ECVV’s water supply comes from non-tributary wells and its Northern Project along the South Platte River, other districts that serve the city purchase their water from Denver Water, and are contractually obligated to follow its guidelines when it comes to restrictions.
“Our goal this summer is to ensure water is available for public health and safety, while balancing the quality of life and economic vitality of our community,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water. “Last year was dry, and this year has been, too. Ultimately, we need to be prepared for a potentially worsening situation in 2014.”
Lochhead said, collectively, Denver Water needs to save 16 billion gallons by April 2014.
We’ve never seen conditions like this, and we are concerned about our water supply,” Lochhead said. “Our reservoirs haven’t been full since July 2011. We need our customers’ help to reduce water use and keep as much water as possible in storage as we move through this year and into the next.”
Denver Water expects to declare a Stage 2 drought at its March 27 board meeting, which will make mandatory watering restrictions and drought pricing official.
Watering restrictions around the area
Arapahoe Estates Water District
Phone: 303-854-8282 (Follows Denver Water guidelines.)
Arapahoe County Water & Wastewater Authority
Phone: 303-790-4830 (Voluntary every-third-day watering schedule starting May 1. Watch for updates on arapahoewater.org website and utility bills.)
Castlewood Water & Sanitation District
Phone: 303-773-1605 (Follows Denver Water guidelines.)
Southeast Englewood Water District
Phone: 303-986-1551 ext. 124 (Follows Denver Water guidelines.)
East Cherry Creek Valley Water & Sanitation District
Phone: 303-693-3800 (Residential and irrigation restrictions effective April 15.)
Southgate Water & Sanitation District
Phone: 303-779-0261 (Follows Denver Water guidelines.)
East Valley Metropolitan District
Phone: 303-841-3474 (No water restrictions at this time.)
Willow Water District
Phone: 303-770-8625 (Follows Denver Water guidelines.)
Havana Water and Sanitation District
Phone: 303-779-4525 (Follows Denver Water guidelines.)
Expects to declare Stage 2 drought. Mandatory watering restrictions would be effective April 1. For up-to-date info, visit www.denverwater.org
Denver Water customers may only water two days a week and must follow this schedule:
• Even-numbered residential properties, Sunday and Thursday
• Odd-numbered residential properties, Saturday and Wednesday
• All other properties (multi-family, HOA, commercial, industrial, government) Tuesday and Friday
In addition, customers must follow watering rules:
• Do not water lawns between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
• Do not waste water by allowing it to pool in gutters, streets and alleys.
• Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt.
• Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
• Do not water while it is raining or during high winds.