With a lack of rain last summer and poor snowpack this spring, water officials say conditions are growing similar to that of 2002, when Southern Colorado suffered from severe drought conditions.
But water officials from both Pueblo and Colorado Springs tell 11 News they are prepared if we see a repeat.
Pueblo water officials say they have been building up a water reserve for years, just in case we see extreme drought conditions.
At this point, Southern Colorado officials are optimistic that customers won’t have any watering restrictions this summer.
Back in 2002, people were limited to certain days and times they could water outdoors. This caused a lot of hardship for customers and employees alike.
To make sure this doesn’t happen again, Pueblo crews have over three times as much water stored than they did in 2002.
A lot of this is because customers have voluntarily cut back on their water use.
Officials are asking all of us to do the same thing this spring and summer.
Here are a few tips to make the most of the water you use:
-Water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., not during the heat of the day.
-Don’t water with a sprinkler during high winds.
-Water longer, fewer times a week, rather than shorter more frequent watering. (This helps build stronger root systems and more heat tolerance)
-Set your lawn mower to a three inch cutting height. Longer grass is more tolerant of dry, hot weather.
-Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom, not the hose.
Officials say wise water use by Puebloans has saved millions of gallons since 2003. They hope to keep this trend going as we all work to preserve this vital resource.
Customers will be notified if conditions do worsen, and any voluntary or mandatory water restrictions become necessary.
The Pueblo Board of Water Works says they expect significantly lower than average stream flow in the Arkansas River this year and tight water supply situations throughout the Arkansas Valley because of the lack of rain and poor snow-pack.
Officials say the board is carefully monitoring the water supply, and maintained an ample reserve supply in storage at Clear Creek, Twin Lakes, Turquoise and Pueblo Reservoirs. The board also does not anticipate any curtailment of extraterritorial water leases for this coming summer.