It’s spring! The signs are everywhere. Grass is turning green and flowers are beginning to bloom.
This is also the time when our mountain snow begins to melt and fill up our reservoirs with water that will be used to meet our needs until next year.
As the temperatures increase, so does our water use and that is when Castle Rock’s water conservation and efficiency programs kick into high gear. With more than 50 percent of water consumption going to watering our yards, it is particularly important that we practice efficient irrigation practices. Through our website, mailings, and educational programs, we provide our water users helpful tips including:
- Make sure that overnight temperatures are consistently above freezing before activating your sprinkler system.
- When you do start to water, water deeply and infrequently because the goal is to fill the root zone and then wait until your lawn needs water again. In the spring, depending on weather conditions, you may only need to water once or twice a week.
- Don’t water too long because the heavy clay soil that is typical in our region can create runoff.
- Use rotary nozzles whenever possible because they apply the water slower than traditional spray nozzles, allowing time for the ground to absorb more water.
For more tips and a list of free workshops and rebates for irrigation efficiency products, please visit www.CRgov.com/conservation.
It is because of these and the other innovative practices below that recognize Castle Rock as a Colorado leader in efficient and smart water use. We have succeeded in reducing our average water use from 137 gallons per capita per day in 2006 to 118 today and are on our way to meeting our goal of 100 gallons per day. That is one of the lowest of any municipality in Colorado and we are proud of that. It is because of the effectiveness of our water conservation programs and practices that the Colorado Water Plan recently submitted to the Governor recognized Castle Rock as a leader in the state on smart water use.
Castle Rock is one of 13 members of a regional water entity called the South Metro Water Supply Authority. Collectively, we have much to be proud of when it comes to water conservation and efficiency.
- Inverness and Castle Rock pay customers to replace Kentucky bluegrass and other water-thirsty plants with low water use landscaping.
Castle Rock developed an innovative fee structure that reduces a developer’s tap fee if they use water smart landscaping. Those developments use 26% to 47% less water.
- Providers serving Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock are two of only three in the state to put customers on a water budget that tracks use by household.
- Sterling Ranch and Castle Rock are leaders in the state in integrating water efficiency and conservation into residential development plans.
- Douglas County is one of the few counties in Colorado to incorporate water supply into its Comprehensive Master plan and require that new developments have 100% renewable water supplies for their new homes.
- The region is a leader in reusing water. Inverness and Meridian were among the earliest adopters of water reuse; they reuse 100 percent of their water. Centennial (the provider serving Highlands Ranch), Castle Pines North, and Castle Rock have plans to significantly increase their water reuse.
It is because of all of these and other efforts that the south metro region reduced water demand by 30% between 2000 and 2010. Our daily treated per capita water use is down to about 120 gallons regionally, surpassing the goal of 129 in the State Water Plan and is among the lowest in Colorado. These are tremendous accomplishments.
Residents of Castle Rock and the entire South Metro area should be proud of our region’s commitment to being good stewards of water. Our success in conservation and water efficiency is helping ensure a more secure water future for our children and grandchildren.