The Cedaredge Town Board, acting on April 18, opted to move its water management regimen into official "Stage I" drought conditions.
The move was expected following a very low 2011-12 water year that left reservoirs and springs that draw water from them in a low carryover condition into the current water year.
Trustee Ray Hanson said, "We need to be pro-active on this."
Uppermost in the town board's consideration of drought conditions during an April 11 discussion of the subject was an abnormally low water equivalent content in the current Grand Mesa snowpack. Trustees noted the low water content at that time and low reservoir carryover during their April 11 work session. Also, the town public works supervisor recommended that the Stage I drought conditions be recognized now.
The trustees' action took place just as a series of storm systems passed through the area raising hopes that water content might increase.
None of the proposed actions aimed at water consumers would be mandatory under the Stage I declaration, board members said. "It's really just a voluntary kind of thing," said Mayor Pat Means.
In addition, it was noted that the snowpack-gauging station at Park Reservoir, the one that provides the most relevant data for the Surface Creek area, is believed to be malfunctioning. Government water officials were planning an on-site visit to check the gauging station and to take manual measurements of the snowpack water levels.
The town board will review the Stage I declaration in July.
A Stage I drought alert puts the town government into position to carry out any of several responses to possible low water conditions. The trustees did not specify which actions the town would take, but the town Drought Response Plan, adopted last September, names several possibilities. They are the following:
• Increase monitoring of the town raw water collection and transmission system on Grand Mesa. Place a top priority on maintenance and needed repairs to ensure optimum efficiency in collection, storage, and transmission operations.
• Increase communications with other drainage basin water managers. Consider not leasing town-owned water to other users.
• Begin a public awareness initiative to heighten water users' knowledge of water conservation practices.
• Promote use of water-conserving appliances that typically consume large amounts of water, including low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators.
• Educate water users as the consumption of major appliances including dish washers, clothes washers and swamp coolers.
• Promote specific practices for conserving water such as brooming sidewalks, water-wise vehicle washing, limited use of outdoor ornamental water features, and limited filling of above-ground swimming pools.
Mayor-Pro-Tem Gene Welch added, "We are just asking that people please watch their water use. This is nothing mandatory."blog comments powered by Disqus