Spring's Slow Warm-up Helping to Preserve Snowpack
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Although some people are looking forward to warming spring temperatures, for those who are watching snowpack levels, the colder it is the better.
Water officials say this year would be the first back to back drought they've seen in years if residents don't start conserving water now.
"It goes beyond that mentality of turning off the water when you brush your teeth, we really want customers to take it to the next step further: not wash your car in the drive way, not fill your swimming pool," said Joseph Burtard of Ute Water.
Burtard is also part of the Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) along with managers from Clifton, Palisade and Grand Junction water.
"We've been meeting on a regular basis just trying to determine where we're at with our water supplies ... we're talking about, we're currently in stage one, do we move out of stage one and into stage two?" said Burtard.
March's snowpack levels are in for Grand Junction, showing 83 percent of average for this time of year.
"We're going to be very cautious going through the year, we're going to conserve as much reservoir water as we can," said Terry Franklin, Utilities Manager with the city of Grand Junction.
Fortunately, the Grand Valley's cooler spring weather is helping to delay the snow melt process.
"The last few weeks we've had a couple of snows. Last year it was already warm and the snow melt was probably already halfway through the runoff season by now," said Franklin.
If the snow melts too quickly, there's no way for the reservoirs to save it for hotter months when it may be needed more.
In the mean time, officials are looking for residents to help keep them from transitioning into a Stage Two drought.
"It's up to their usage or conservation to keep us in a Stage One drought," said Burtard.