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Posted on: July 2, 2018

Watering schedule helps Castle Rock Water manage peak demand in summer and during droughts

Residents know, most of Colorado is in a drought. In Castle Rock, the Town has a drought management plan to make sure the community’s water supply is not adversely impacted by dry conditions. While our residents are committed to water conservation, the summer months and irrigation season mean water use will inevitably be high, and even more so during drought conditions. As Castle Rock Water works to manage the community’s water demands, the department wants to remind residents about this year’s watering schedule.

Town Council approved earlier this year the 2018 Water Use Management Plan. Castle Rock Water uses the plan to determine watering schedules and guidelines for the summer season. The purpose is to help residents efficiently use water outdoors during the warmer months, while still keeping in mind peak demand – the highest total amount of water used in Town in a day during irrigation season.

The department works hard to manage the community’s overall water supply, but handling how much water customers use in a single day is another piece to the puzzle. Think of it like four people in a household all taking a shower at the same time while running the dishwasher and starting the laundry. There’s enough water supply, but not enough hot water. The same concept translates to peak demand – the Town can deliver enough water to meet the community’s needs, but not if everyone is running their sprinklers at the same time. Conservation and a watering schedule help manage that demand, especially as peak demand increases during drought conditions.

For the 2018 season, outdoor watering restrictions are in place for the months of June, July and August. Residents are required to follow a circle, diamond, square schedule, based on the last number in their address. That schedule has been mailed to customers and is posted at CRgov.com/waterschedule. In addition to the schedule, residents are only allowed to water their lawns during the cooler, more humid times of day – between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. This is when evapotranspiration – a measurement of how much water needs to be used to replace water lost through evaporation and transpiration – is at its lowest, and watering is most effective, meaning you are getting the most bang for your buck.

New in 2018, nonresidential customers are also required to follow a watering schedule. That schedule will be similar to the every-third-day schedule residents already follow. Under the new guidelines, nonresidential customers (mostly businesses and homeowner associations) west of I-25 will water Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Customers east of I-25 will water Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (Nonresidential watering will not be allowed in Town on Sundays.) Also, watering for nonresidential customers will only be allowed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

As the community works toward a more renewable water supply, weather plays a big role. Renewable water comes from environmental conditions like rain and snow. The more dry, hot weather the community experiences, the lower the renewable water supply. Abiding to a watering schedule and being mindful of peak demand will help Castle Rock Water manage the community’s needs now and in the future. If drought conditions continue locally, further steps to preserve Castle Rock’s water resources may be necessary in accordance with the Drought Management Plan.

The first step if the drought continues to deplete local resources would be to issue an Advisory Stage local drought response. That response would result in a request for voluntary reductions. Currently, the need for that has not been reached, but Castle Rock Water will keep the community informed as conditions change.

Learn more about conservation, watering schedules and peak demand at CRgov.com/Water and CRconserve.com.

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