CSU water restrictions remain despite browning conditions

Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
POSTED: 05:40 PM MDT Jul 03, 2013    UPDATED: 05:49 PM MDT Jul 03, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Browning lawns across Colorado Springs have some water users wondering when water restrictions will end. Currently, all water customers are limited on watering to just two days per week.

A spokeswoman for Colorado Springs Utilities says as hard as it is to hear, homeowners should let their lawns go dormant. The grass isn't dying but browning to protect itself.

"Since we are only allowed to water two days a week we're seeing these impacts on all different sizes of lawns," said Katherine Moravec of Colorado Springs Utilities.

Moravec said CSU has received a number of complaints from users about browning grass tied to water restrictions. With little chance of substantial rain in July or August, there's very little chance of easing water restrictions this summer.

"It's just really important for us to stay the course," said Moravec. "Our community has been very successful in meeting our water goals but we need to make sure we still have the water for important functions like bathing, drinking and cooking."

Moravec said other complaints are tied to high water bill prices. CSU uses a tiered pricing system for water users -- the more water you use the more you'll pay per cubic foot. According to Moravec, since April 22 percent of customers have used at least 2,000 cubic feet of water per month. That puts them in the most expensive rate category. Those heavy use customers pay $0.1775 per cubic foot of water while conservative customers pay $.0311 per cubic foot.

Some green thumbs, like Bob Mitchell, are giving up their grass for xeriscaping but are hoping to see the rain return.

"It all depends on what the weather will do for us," said Mitchell. "If would start raining I would hope they would lighten up on the restrictions but if not, I guess we're stuck with this the rest of the summer."

Despite the brown grass, Moravec said it's important for water users to maintain regular watering to protect grass for cooler seasons. Also refrain from using fertilizer or "miracle"-type cures through the summer, Moravec said fertilization should be done in September or October.