Conservation: Telluride may impose permanent restrictions

Photo via TellurideValleyFloor.org
Photo via TellurideValleyFloor.org

From The Watch (Seth Cagin):

With greatly expanded supplies of treated municipal water coming online at the end of this year when the Pandora Water Treatment Plant is scheduled to open, the Town of Telluride is considering the implementation of new water conservation measures.

While it may seem counterintuitive that a greater supply of water dictates the wisdom of more conservation, Town Manager Greg Clifton told the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday that “it is a matter of good stewardship of a natural resource,” especially incumbent, he suggested, on a “headwaters community.”

The biggest proposed new regulation, if council approves it, would not be not dramatic: restricting spray irrigation in town to nighttime hours, thus minimizing water losses to evaporation.

Greater awareness of the value of permanent water conservation measures has come about during the last two years, when there were water shortages and emergency conservation measures were imposed, Clifton said. In addition, he told council, it is a stipulation of a comprehensive settlement agreement with the Idarado Mining Co. that is close to completion that the town implement water conservation measures.

Water efficiency in Telluride also leaves more water in the San Miguel River, Karen Guglielmone, project manager for the town’s public works department told council, to the benefit not only of downstream water users, but also the local environment.

On a related note, reductions in water use also provide the benefit of putting less pressure on the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The town currently experiences more water consumption than the wastewater treatment plant can accommodate in the morning hours in the summer during large festivals. The town will attempt to encourage residents and visitors at those times to try to spread their water use out over the course of the day.

More conservation coverage here.

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