From The Douglas County News-Press (Thelma Grimes):
As afternoon rainstorms have continued through spring and early summer, officials of the Centennial Water and Sanitation District, the water provider in Highlands Ranch, warn residents that the community is still under a drought watch designation.
“A drought is not just about precipitation,” said Swithin Dick, water rights administrator for Centennial Water. “Precipitation is one part of the equation, but you also have to look at snowpack, water runoff, demand and water supply.”
Centennial Water monitors the water supply for the community daily. On July 7, Centennial Water’s reservoir storage was 8,048-acre feet, or 47% of 17,200 acre-feet total capacity. Centennial Water’s median storage level for July over the past 10 years has been 8,904 acre-feet, or 52% of the capacity…
“Despite the precipitation we have received over the past month, the storage level in our reservoirs has declined,” Dick said. “This is because community water demand has increased, which is offsetting the water we have been able to capture.”
Dick said water supplies are based on water rights priority in the region. Water rights determine who is able to capture the water for use…
Centennial Water has three stages for measuring drought condition. In April, the Centennial Water Board of Directors approved the lowest stage level, drought watch. The drought watch designation is for residents in Highlands Ranch, Solstice, and portions of northern Douglas County.
If drought conditions get worse, the board can approve two new stages, Drought Stage 1 and Drought Stage 2, which would mean higher fees to further encourage residents to practice water conservation.
For instance, a resident who uses between 101% and 120% of the allotted amount, rates would go from $5.52 per 1,000 gallons to $6.95 under a Stage 1 designation. Under a Stage 2 designation, rates would increase to $8.38.
For more information about water conservation and drought conditions in Highlands Ranch, visit http://centennialwater.org.