Because of snowmelt and some good rainfall, some communities in Colorado, including Denver, have been able to relax their water restrictions a bit. That's because their reservoirs are nearly at capacity. Rampart Reservoir looks full, but that doesn't necessarily mean Colorado Springs' water situation is in good shape.
Some people, including City Council member Larry Small, were hoping Colorado Springs could add a third day to the weekly water schedule. That plan was turned down by Colorado Springs Utilities last week. Utility officials say that's because our reservoir levels aren't as high as some that feed other communities.
But many people who've visited Rampart Reservoir lately have noticed it seems to be full of water. Colorado Springs Utilities spokesperson Kevin Lusk says is close to being full, but that doesn't mean we're any closer to being out of the drought.
Rampart Reservoir is the most full it's been since 1995. But that's not because there's more water being stored. It's one of 30 reservoirs used by CSU, and has been filled by transferring water through a pipeline from the other reservoirs to this one. "So any increase in storage at Rampart Reservoir represents an equal decrease in some other reservoirs in the system," says Lusk.
Lusk says system-wide water storage is at about 63 % of capacity. The average storage this time of year is much higher---85 %. That means that we still have far less water in our reservoirs than we should, and that is why water restrictions are staying in place at two-days-a-week. "Took us a long time to get to this place, it'll take us a long time to get out," says Lusk.
The good news is---we have been saving a lot of water. Customers are halfway to CSU's goal of saving 7 billion gallons of water.