By Deb Hurley Brobst
The Evergreen Metropolitan District is poised to declare Evergreen in a state of water emergency and institute Level 3 water restrictions.
Water flowing through Bear Creek into Evergreen Lake, which is the primary water supply for the district, is getting very low. EMD General Manager Dave Lighthart said the water flow on Aug. 25 was 5.6 cubic feet per second, and rain that night moved it to 5.9 cfs.
If the seven-day average of water flow gets to 5.0 or below, a Level 3 drought will be declared and stringent restrictions will be put into place, he said.
The affected areas are customers in the Evergreen, West Jefferson and Kittredge water districts. Those on private wells also are encouraged to conserve water.
Since mid-July, the water district has been at Level 2 water restrictions, which mandate outside watering only three days a week before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Lighthart said the district has notified the golf courses, schools and the Evergreen Park & Recreation District, who do irrigation. Under Level 3 restrictions, no one in the district will be allowed to water lawns.
“When we get to this (drought) level,” Lighthart said, “it’s serious, and we are eating into the storage in Evergreen Lake,” noting that the only other time that has happened recently was in 2002, when the water level in the lake dropped about 6 inches. While that might not seem like much, it’s a lot of water.
“We’ve had drought conditions in the past 18 years, but this is certainly the most serious that we’ve encountered in that time,” Lighthart said. “We had over 100 percent of snowpack in April, and it surprised us how fast it disappeared. The monsoons didn’t help us out much, either. Now we are still completely reliant on the storm events, and they have been isolated.”
Under Level 3 drought requirements, the district will restrict all water use to basic indoor uses and aggressively enforce an outside watering moratorium. Customers are limited to water use of 7,500 gallons per month rather than 14,000. Shrubs, plants and flowers may be hand-watered, and vehicles may be washed with a bucket and hose that has a shut-off nozzle.
The fine for not complying is $100 for the first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.
Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-350-1041.