Springs Utilities receives Tree Line USA Award for the twentieth year

Published: 4/24/2015  1:52 PM
As we celebrate Arbor Day, I am reminded of my favorite Dr. Seuss character, the Lorax, who claimed, “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” I am proud to represent the Lorax for Springs Utilities.   This year, we w ...

Every day is Earth Day

Published: 4/22/2015  8:59 AM
For some, Earth Day is a one-day reminder to reduce, reuse and recycle. Maybe they’ll do something small today as a symbol but, they’ll go right back to their electronic gadgets, instant this and disposable that world tomorrow. Not us. We have two ...

Students slow the flow of water leaks

Published: 4/20/2015  9:03 AM
As part of Catamount Institute’s Young Environmental Steward’s (YES) Club, fourth and fifth grade students at Howbert Elementary School learned about toilet leak prevention from our water education experts and decided this was an excellent stewardsh ...

Get water wise with free xeriscape classes

Published: 4/14/2015  8:48 AM
Spring fever means it’s time to get busy in your yard. If your landscape needs improvement or renovation, we can help with free xeriscape classes taught by local landscape experts at our Conservation and Environmental Center. Offered from April to ...

We want you to be a lineworker

Published: 4/13/2015  11:25 AM
Reprinted with permission from the March-April 2015 issue of Public Power magazine. Working with high-voltage electricity is a dangerous job. "It has a certain characteristic with it," said Luke Burgess, a 49-year-old crew supervisor at ...

What are graywater use and rainwater harvesting?

Published: 4/9/2015  12:41 PM
Are you familiar with the many ways to recycle or reuse water? What types of water recycling practices will benefit your family and our community? Because we all want to do what we can to use water wisely, interest is growing in graywater use and r ...

Surveying snow key to forecasting water supply

Published: 4/8/2015  1:33 PM
How are extreme skiing and snow surveying related? Both activities seek out the most decisive snow conditions on the slopes of the Rocky Mountain. Other than that, there’s no relationship. The idea of comparing mountain snow to the amount of runoff ...

Water in the West and California's drought

Published: 4/7/2015  2:07 PM
Living in the West offers many advantages. Wide open spaces, majestic mountains and amazing recreational opportunities, to name a few. Still, there are challenges and water is certainly one them. If you’ve seen the recent news, extreme drought is t ...

Make the call to 811 before you dig

Published: 4/6/2015  9:17 AM
Do you know what’s lurking beneath your feet as you walk around in your yard or down the street in your neighborhood? Many are unaware that a complex infrastructure of pipelines and wires, including natural gas, electricity, water, sewage and commun ...

Don't forget to GIVE

Published: 4/3/2015  10:52 AM
There’s a lot going on this time of year. Outdoor activities are picking up now that the weather is coming around. Schools have turned the page to the final stretch of the year. Your taxes are due, you need to vote and Earth Day is coming. As a mat ...

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More snow does not equal no restrictions   

Eric  by  Eric  on  4/23/2013

kidsinsnow.jpgLately, I’m feeling like a parent on a long road trip with an entire community in the back seat. You know the trip I’m talking about. It’s the one where the kids in the back seat ask “Are we there yet?” every five minutes. The difference is that the questions are “How’s our water supply with the recent snow; and is it enough to move out of restrictions?”

Yes, the snow is great; however we all need to be realistic about our expectations here. We didn’t get into this situation by simply missing a couple of good mountain storms. We got here with a couple of years of severely below average precipitation. While the recent snow fall is welcome relief from hot and dry conditions, we are not out of the drought yet.

Even with all the recent snow, our watersheds are seeing a peak snowpack of about 85% of average. That means we still haven’t even reached an average winter yet, let alone a surplus of snow that will replenish our reservoirs.

There are 3 other key factors to consider.

1. Soil moisture. The ground has been extremely deprived of moisture for quite some time, meaning a lot of the snow is going to melt and sink into the ground.

2. Evaporation. When the temperatures do warm up and the snow begins to melt, a portion of that snow is lost to evaporation too.

3. Water rights. Not all of the water that makes its way into a lake or stream can be diverted to Colorado Springs. We can only harvest the water for which we have rights. The rest of it must be passed downstream to other users with senior water rights.

Not to be a negative Nellie, but we are in Stage 2 restrictions and expect to remain there throughout 2013. It’s a harsh reality, but we all need to come to grips with it.

On the bright side, we’re all doing a great job of conserving and we are currently meeting our savings goal! And, the snow and colder conditions locally mean customers will save even more because they will not need to water their landscapes.

So, don’t make me turn this car around. Let’s all appreciate the recent snow for what it is: an opportunity to make a few snowballs, a few snowmen (or women if you prefer) and a few trips down a hill on a sled. Let’s enjoy a brief winter wonderland, even if it is spring!


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Good information for the general public/customers.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013  12:57 PM  Zach C.

And, as on a long family road-trip, it IS a good idea to monitor your water consumption. Otherwise, it's really hard to make it to your destination!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013  3:37 PM 

Thanks for the comment Zach. I hope customers begin to understand it.
To my other commenter - point taken. I'm the type that just likes to get where I'm going, no stopping. Good advice! :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013  8:07 AM  Eric

Today I read in the Gazette about our community saving 1 billion gallons of water in April. This is the type of information I like to see. Why can't CSU come up with some type of chart or graphics, showing how we're progressing on saving water? What are our goals? What are reservoir levels? Are they going up or down? I think sharing this type of information with our community on the CSU website would go a long way to meeting or exceeding those goals.

Sunday, May 05, 2013  7:12 PM  littlepeaks

Littlepeaks, we're working on a common graphic to use to display community water savings. Our goal, as a community, is 30% and we are doing a great job so far. You will definitely see more of the type of information you're asking for as we proceed through summer. Don't forget, we have really even entered the main irrigation season yet. Thanks for asking and keep your eyes peeled for that information.

Monday, May 06, 2013  10:14 AM  Eric

I like it when people get together and share opinions.
Grewat site, keep it up!

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