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The four Steamboat Springs area water districts – Mount Werner Water, City of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat II Metro District and Tree Haus Metro District – will institute mandatory stage 2 water restrictions starting May 1, 2018.
“I believe everyone was expecting this announcement with the winter the Yampa Valley has experienced,” said Frank Alfone, Mount Werner Water District General Manager. “As we’ve seen in recent years, early adoption of stage 2 restrictions and a conservative approach makes sense for the conditions the area is seeing at this point.”
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is predicting normal precipitation this summer with a chance (33% to 40%) of below normal moisture during the months of May through July. In addition, the temperature outlook indicates a 40% to 50% chance of above normal temperatures from May through August.
The SWE at the Tower SNOTEL site has hovered around 80% recently; however, for most of the winter, the recording registered below the 80% average benchmark. Run-off is expected to be at or near average with a moderate chance that run-off would be accelerated due to projected higher 2018 summer temperatures. Steamboat depends upon a combination of natural flows and reservoir releases from the Fish Creek watershed to carry it through the summer, fall and winter.
“While the area has seen important rain and snow over the past few weeks, we’ll need steady precipitation to move away from stage 2,” said Jon Snyder, Public Works Director for the City of Steamboat Springs. “On the other hand, if conditions deteriorate, restrictions can also be increased. Still, with everyone’s early cooperation, we’ll be in the best position for whatever Mother Nature sends our way.”
Early implementation of the stage 2 watering schedule will also allow lawns, shrubs and trees to adapt quickly in the growing season and enables automatic systems to be set by landscapers, businesses and homeowners to the Stage 2 schedule right from the start of the season.
Through these restrictions and continued efforts by water users to reduce water demands, the community is able to strike a balance between conserving water supplies in the reservoirs and maintaining the riparian health of Fish Creek and the Yampa River.
Stage 2 water restrictions are in accordance with the Steamboat Springs Water Conservation Plan adopted in 2011 by the Steamboat Springs City Council and Board of Directors of Mount Werner Water District. Stage 2 mandatory restrictions were most recently enacted last summer as well as in 2015, 2013 and 2012.
Mandatory Stage 2 Water Restrictions
Tips for conserving water
Rebates for water-efficient replacement toilets, dishwashers and clothes washers are still available for Mount Werner Water customers by calling the Mount Werner Water office, 879-2424, or for city customers by calling City Hall, 970-871-6303.
For more information on water saving tips and a list of drought-resistant plant species, please visit the city or district websites: steamboatsprings.net, mwwater.com, steamboat2metro.com and treehausmetrodistrict.com.