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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-April 30, 2020-The City of Steamboat Springs and Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District adopted the 2020 Water Conservation Plan earlier this month and an ordinance implementing a new watering schedule comes before City Council for a second and final reading on May 5. The plan looks to preserve the health of Fish Creek and the Yampa River and protect drinking water supplies while reducing the carbon footprint of the Yampa Valley.
“We are blessed to live in a snowy, headwaters community where high-quality drinking water is rarely scarce,” said Water Resources Manager Kelly Romero-Heaney. “But without a community-wide commitment to conserving this resource, drought, climate change, and wildfire could threaten that supply.”
Water supply stressors, such as population growth, climate change, a Colorado River Compact call, and wildfire in the Fish Creek Basin, could limit the ability of the city and district to reliably provide clean drinking water into the foreseeable future if conservation measures are not enacted. The 2020 plan set a goal to reduce per household water use by 10% in 10 years – ambitious yet attainable goal.
To achieve this, the community will move to a new watering schedule that limits customers to outdoor watering three days per week. Historically, these restrictions were implemented during drought conditions. Currently, around 30% of the community’s treated water supplies is applied outdoors to lawns and gardens. Other conservation activities prescribed by the plan include metering, infrastructure repair and replacement, water fixture rebates and water conservation education.
“The Steamboat Springs community has demonstrated a strong conservation ethic when it comes to protecting its rivers and streams. The new watering schedule helps to codify that ethic,” continued Romero-Heaney.
Under the plan, potable water used for outdoor landscaping permit watering is permitted between 6pm and 10am, and watering days will be based on the last number (even or odd) of a customer’s address. Exceptions to this watering schedule vary slightly between the city and the district –see your water provider website for information (links below). Landscape companies, property managers, and individual customers will need to set sprinkler systems to comply with this schedule prior to the summer irrigation season.
“Reducing outdoor watering helps contribute to a lower carbon footprint locally and saves money on electricity, chemicals and operations and maintenance at the City of Steamboat Springs two Water Filtration Plants,” said Frank Alfone, General Manager for the Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District. “A direct result of the new watering scheduling allows the City of Steamboat Springs and the District to defer large capital improvement projects at the Filtration Plants”
Steamboat Springs places a high value on providing a thriving urban environment for its developing community while also preserving and supporting local agriculture, open space and healthy mountain ecosystems. The final 2020 Water Conservation Plan and other valuable information on conservation can be viewed online.
ContactKelly Romero-Heaney, Water Resources Manager, City of Steamboat Springs, 970.871.8205 or email Frank Alfone, General Manager, Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District, 970.879.2424 or email