Some members of the Colorado Springs City Council are unhappy with the amount of water we're saving. They say if we don’t save enough now, we may have to take more drastic measures this fall.
Initially, savings were at an acceptable 19%. Recently, the savings dropped to 16%. The Springs Utilities goal is 20%. Now, some council members are considering new ways to get people to conserve.
Vice Mayor Lionel Rivera says part of the problem is people aren't following the spirit of Stage Two water restrictions, and they're watering twice on their designated days. "If we all cooperate and follow the ordinance, water once a day either in the morning or in the evening, then we're going to get our 20% reduction in use. But if people will stretch the ordinance as far as it will go, then we'll never get there."
Rivera says the council will likely close that loophole and make it illegal to water more than once on your designated days.
Other possibilities include, increasing fines for first-time water offenders, and even a ban on all outdoor water use after October first.
Local nursery owner Don Frazier says, that could kill your lawn this fall. "The grass and the shrubs are already stressed from the dry summer we've had and they're stressed from last winter's dryness. We'll have serious death in plants if they completely outlaw watering.”
Frazier also says, don't count on winter snow to save your plants. “We shouldn’t say that were going to have a normal winter, therefore, we won’t have problems that's just not true."
But Lionel Rivera reminds us that the tighter restrictions aren't a done deal. "If we start seeing improvement, rains start coming in, snow, then that may not be necessary." Rivera says the soonest we'd see a change in the current restrictions is Aug. 13.