Local News

War of the words: What caused water restrictions?

Mayor's Comments Stir Controversy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - There is a war of the words between Mayor Steve Bach and Colorado Springs Utilities over water.

During a radio interview with KRDO NewsRadio Bach implied the utility was acting irresponsibly when it sold water last year. Colorado Springs Utilities said the mayor has his facts wrong.

Bach talked about two things we was concerned over, water sales and drained reservoirs.

"It (Colorado Springs Utilities) sold about 2 billion gallons of water to other entities, and it had to know at that time we were in a drought and it was getting worse, so I don't understand that," said Bach.

The utility did sell water, but it was contractually obligated to sell. Council approved and signed the contracts in 2011. The water was shipped to the Cherokee and Donala Water Districts. It only sold 162 million gallons, not 2 billion.

"We did know we were in a drought. With us not being on restrictions we continued to make our delivers under those regional agreements," said Abby Ortega, the supply supervisor of water supply at Colorado Springs Utilities.

Bach was also unhappy about drained reservoirs.

"They also drained some of our water reservoirs, and i don't understand that, but we are where we are," said Bach

Only the Homestake Reservior was drained for maintenance, and none of the water was lost, according to Ortega.

"When we drain a reservoir like that for maintenance we make sure we can use that water within our system, so we moved that water to other reservoirs to make sure we had that for our customers," said Ortega.

The bottom line, according to the utility, is that the water sales and the drained reservoir had nothing to do with the restrictions that start on Monday.

The water districts that use the utility system must be on the same water restrictions as Colorado Springs.

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