Castle Rock #conservation goals a high priority with low Plum Creek streamflow

From The Castle Rock News-Press (Jessica Gibbs):

…Castle Rock recently implemented new water restrictions on homeowners associations and urged residents to amp up their conservation efforts. Prolonged dry, hot weather has left one of the town’s renewable sources, the East Plum Creek, at record lows.

The town has gathered data on the creek for 18 years, Marlowe said. The gauge on East Plum Creek nearest Castle Rock shows the area at its lowest level in that time frame.

The town also recorded water use at peak levels — although that is not uncommon during hot spells, Marlowe said.

Over the summer, Castle Rock typically sees an average use of 12.4 million gallons a day. This year, officials have seen that average reach 16.5 million gallons. Peak demand is usually related to outdoor irrigation, Marlowe said, such as the watering of lawns and landscaping.

In response, the town is now requiring homeowners associations to follow a similar watering schedule that has been required of single-family homes since the 1980s. Public spaces like parks, common areas and medians can only be watered between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Homeowners associations were also asked to cut back on issuing violations for distressed lawns and to encourage residents to reduce outdoor watering.

Marlowe said the efforts should save millions of gallons of water.

Additionally, residents and businesses can do their part by researching proper irrigation techniques, for which the town has a number of resources and classes…

Residential water restrictions in place through August only allow watering between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m…

Kaoch explained residents needn’t worry if grass doesn’t stay perfectly green in dry times, as going temporarily dormant can actually help strengthen new root systems. Conservation is most important, Kaoch said, expressing the district’s willingness to work with town staff under the new water restrictions.

For residents who want to learn more about proper irrigation and water conservation, the town offers numerous resources through the website crconserve.com. The town also runs classes for people to learn efficient watering and conservation techniques.

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