It’s only February, but many Colorado Springs residents are already eyeing the lawn. But workers with Colorado Springs Utilities are keeping a close eye on the snow pack in the mountains. That's the best indicator of how much water we'll have this summer.
They say the snow pack is better than 2002, and about the same as it was last year. But it is still a lot lower than they'd like it to be.
Wayne Vanderschuere with CSU says this is the fourth year in a row we've had below average moisture. "Most of the western United States is considered in moderate to severe drought conditions."
Recent measurements show the current snow pack is 70 to 90 percent of average. And the reservoirs that feed our water system are at 50 percent of capacity. This time of year they should be at 75 percent. The good news is we are headed into some of the snowiest months of the year. "Some of the best snows, particularly ones that are heavy in moisture, come this time of year," says Vanderschuere.
In mid-March, CSU will make a recommendation to the city council for water restrictions this summer. Based on where we are right now, we'll probably start with restrictions of three days a week. That's one more day a week than we had last summer. But right now, it all depends on the weather in the next two months. Experts say unless we have an extremely dry spring, water restrictions won't be any worse than they were last year.