Goals set for future energy plan; public survey now open

Published: 10/17/2019  10:20 AM
​Work on our Electric and Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) continues as planning goals were established thanks to public input. The Electric and Natural Gas IRPs will consider many views of the future to help determine how we will best ...

Make the most of your fallen leaves

Published: 10/10/2019  8:23 AM
Every year, I look forward to when the trees in my yard turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. But I know what’s next--a thick layer of leaves on my lawn that must be dealt with. Not exactly my idea of a fun autumn afternoon. Luckily, a ...

It's Public Natural Gas Week - A reminder of how both employees and customers help keep our natural gas system safe

Published: 10/8/2019  4:53 PM
​This year, October 6-12 is Public Natural Gas Week, a time when communities such as ours give recognition to one of their most valuable community assets—their publicly owned natural gas utility. At Colorado Springs Utilities, our natural gas emplo ...

Customer Service Week - The Magic of Serving You

Published: 10/8/2019  4:22 PM
​October 7-11 is Customer Service Week, an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. In 1992, the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally r ...

10 fall tips to use energy and water wisely

Published: 10/2/2019  3:41 PM
​October is Energy Action Month, a time to encourage the community to contribute to sustainability efforts by learning more about energy efficiency and practicing smarter energy use. As the cooler months approach, consider our low-cost or no-cost ti ...

​Public Power: Rich history and bright future

Published: 10/1/2019  4:24 PM
Our early citizens understood the value of public power ownership, voting in 1924 to create their own municipal utility. Today, public power is as relevant and valuable as it was nearly 100 years ago. Colorado Springs Utilities is one of nearly 2,0 ...

Colorado Springs Utilities' Office of Economic Development wins ​Downtown Partnership Star Award

Published: 9/30/2019  11:20 AM
The Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit organization, with a robust membership base of businesses, nonprofits and individuals representing the diversity of industries Downtown and citywide, honored three outstanding contributors to the economic, civic ...

More public electric vehicle chargers thanks to grant

Published: 9/24/2019  8:16 AM
We recently installed four Level II electric vehicle chargers at four of our facilities thanks to funding from a Charge Ahead Colorado grant. The chargers expands the community’s electric vehicle charging network for our customers and employees. Th ...

Construction of two new solar projects progresses

Published: 9/24/2019  8:14 AM
​By the end of this year, we will add enough solar energy to our system to power 35,000 homes annually thanks to two projects currently under construction. The Palmer Solar Project, located southeast of Colorado Springs, and the Grazing Yak Solar P ...

Four fall tips to brighten your landscape

Published: 9/9/2019  9:34 AM
​After Labor Day, many landscapes may look dull, especially if most of the flowering plants bloom in early summer. Fortunately, September is a wonderful month to add a few more plants to your landscape. The soil is warm and the air temperatures have ...

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Where our water comes from   

Natalie W.  by  Natalie W.  on  4/2/2019

Snowpack coming out of Homestake TunnelIf you are like most people, when you turn on the tap to wash your hands, brush your teeth or wash dishes, you never give a second thought to where that water just came from. You never think about the journey those hydrogen and oxygen molecules took from more than 100 miles away in the high country of the Western slope to your faucet. You just know that whenever you need the water, it’s there for you. Clean, fresh and…delicious.

The reason it’s always there for you is because of our hard-working Water Planners and Field Operations Teams. On March 21, I had the opportunity to see where our water comes from, through the Continental Divide, to the outlet of the Homestake Tunnel near Turquoise Lake. We pump the water more than 100 miles away to the Arkansas River Basin and then to our water treatment plants to deliver it to our customers’ taps.

This year, snowpack is above average, which means we won’t have room to collect every drop. The good news is that this large snowpack will give us a buffer to get through drier years. Water conveyance supervisor Kalsoum Abbasi and her team stage our water and move it around so that we can collect as much as possible. To do this, we utilize our 25 reservoirs to store the water. We are thankful for a large snowpack this year because it will help us fill all of our reservoirs this spring and summer.

Abbasi explains that because snowpack levels vary so much from year to year within Colorado, we use the data we collect from snowpack readings to figure out how much space we need to make in our downstream reservoirs so we can then collect that water from our mountain systems. Every January our Homestake crew goes out to begin taking snow reads. They will continue to do this twice a month through April so we keep a pulse on our snowpack levels.

We are pumping water out of the Turquoise and Twin Lakes Reservoirs at full capacity right now. While this is a little unusual, the reason is so we can make more room in those reservoirs for when the snowmelt does run off, so we have somewhere to put it. While you may look to mountains while skiing this weekend and see all this snowpack, it’s important to remember that although there is a ton of snowpack, all that water is still in the snow. It’s not until the snow melts in late spring or early summer that we will see our reservoirs fill up.

Planning the water supply for a city of 464,474 people and growing is no small feat. Luckily, we have some of the best water planners in the state working hard every single day to make sure that the next time you turn on your faucet, fresh mountain snowmelt comes pouring out.


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