It could be a long, dry summer for at least 15,000 water customers in Southern Colorado. People in the Cherokee Metropolitan District, east of Powers, have just been hit with the first major watering restrictions of the summer. The restrictions mean customers will only have 2 days a week to water their lawns up to 4 hours per day. That's because in March, the Water Court in Pueblo decided the district's Outer Basin area couldn't tap into it's northern well water supply unless it was an emergency. District General Manager Kip Petersen says he doesn't agree with the ruling, but must comply.
"They (the court) felt us not getting the production we needed out of our southerly wells wasn't an emergency."
Many customers like Joe Craig say the reason for the water restrictions is drying up their patience and their lawns.
"There was no disclosure on what was going on," said Craig. "I may have changed my mind on weather or not to buy in this district based on that water stuff."
Those caught breaking the rules will get a warning the first time, followed by a $50.00 fine and a $100.00 fine for their second and third offenses. The exceptions, are new lawns. Owners can get a 1-month restriction-free permit from the district office. Customers can also hand-water their lawns as much as they want during the cool hours of the day.
Manitou Springs is also imposing water restrictions. So far Pueblo and Colorado Springs Utilities are leaving it up to the customers to restrict water use.