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The Colorado Springs Drought

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Drought season

Colorado Springs, and the surrounding area for that matter, is suffering from a tremendous drought due to lack of rain and hotter climate temperatures. Rain and snow have been much less than normal, and plant life and wildlife is suffering as a result. While we can't control the weather, we can control our own water consumption and how we can best serve the city and surrounding area with our conservation activities.

Water conservation

This is key for any area of the world that suffers from a drought, but for the purpose of this article I want to specifically focus on the Colorado Springs area. Over the past month we have had a few snowstorms roll through that did provide some much needed moisture, but in the grand scheme of things this isn't nearly enough to serve the entire city. Rain is needed and until it comes we have to make sure that we as the citizens of this area are doing everything we can to conserve and reduce our water usage.

Water

One way we can reduce our water usage is by being efficient in our home. This means that instead of taking constant showers, running the dishwasher, doing the laundry, and watering the lawn we have to try and hold back and do things in batches instead of as they come. This may seem like common sense but many people don't adhere to these things so I wanted to expound on them further.

  • When doing the dishes, it's more efficient with water usage to wash by hand since much less water is used. If you live a lifestyle where you don't have time to constantly do the dishes, make sure that your dishwasher is completely full before running it. The last thing you want to do is run the dishwasher with only a few items in there. Only run it at full capacity and it will cut your water usage significantly.
  • Taking showers is something we cannot avoid, and there isn't much we can do on this front to conserve. The only obvious thing is when showering to not stand around in there for a long time as each second is using more water. Taking quicker showers obviously leads to less water usage, so if you like taking a hot shower and standing in it then you would be benefitted with taking a quick shower and then warming up on the couch.
  • Doing laundry is another big water user, though many people lose sight of it because they aren't watching the cycles done in their laundry room. The tips I have for this are the same as with the dishwasher. Make sure that when you are doing laundry that you are only doing them with full loads. Don't ever do a half a load of laundry especially since we are in this drought. It will save you money and it will save water consumption if you do a full load because the clothes still get washed, but it's only one batch of water and not multiple batches.
  • Watering the lawn, flowers, and trees is another big water user. Colorado Springs has already imposed regulations on watering so you really can't get around this. However their regulations make sense that you can only water during the evening and only twice a week. The reason for this makes perfect sense because if you are watering during the day the sun will quickly evaporate the moisture. Watering twice a week prevents people from being out there each day and conserves a lot more water for more residents to have access to.

These are some great tips for you water conservation strategies and will help the city and surrounding area in conserving water in this drought season.

 

Weather

Weather predictions in the area are looking pretty depressing as the past two years we have seen record lows for snow and above average temperatures according to the CSU report released recently[1]. Things are looking like this pattern will continue, so the Colorado Springs area has already imposed these restrictions on water usage as a precaution which can always be lifted if the water improves. We recently had two big snowstorms roll through that did provide some moisture, but

Drought
that isn't enough to solve our drought issues. Yesterday May 8th and today May 9th we did have a nice counterclockwise arching rain storm roll through that not only provided a lot of rainfall but also provided cloud cover to allow the moisture to seep into the ground and not evaporate into thin air. Again we desperately needed this storm, but it's not going to be enough to have one storm solve all our problems. The overall forecast looks pretty grim, but until we get a better prediction and see more storms the area will have to stay in this restrictive water usage state.

 

Pricing

This almost goes without saying, but one method that water companies have taken around this area to encourage users to be more water conservative is to increase prices. People will generally ignore warnings and education from companies because they don't care, but if their wallets suddenly get punched hard they will quickly learn the hard way. Prices for water usage monthly has gone up, so in addition to being a good citizen by being conscious of water usage we are also going to have to do it if we don't want to break the bank. Prices will fluctuate based on when things improve, but until this drought disappears don't use a lot of water and use the tips I've given so you can save yourself money.

All for a good cause

Now that you know about the drought problem we have in this area, the tips I've given along with the predicted future can help you plan out your water usage course and give you great ideas on how to be more efficient even if we were having a water surplus instead of a drought. Living a conservative lifestyle is always better than living a lifestyle of using whatever you want whenever you want. We will save money in the long run by being more conservative with our water consumption, and on top that it will give us a sense of value knowing that we made a difference by helping out the community in the little ways by changing the way we live and helping the cause and the greater good.

The weather doesn't look like it will improve for us, but there is always hope for a big storm to roll through and saturate the area. Until that happens we have to use these and other water saving tips to save us money and help the city and surrounding communities. Adhere to the regulations so you don't get fined, and use these tips and you will be of great help to the area.

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Bibliography

  1. "Water Restrictions." Colorado Springs Utilities. 9/05/2013 <Web >

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