Due to a mild winter and poor snowpack, the stream flows throughout the county are reaching record lows. As a result of these circumstances, the EVMD in cooperation with the ERW&SD (Eagle River Water & Sanitation District) are teaming up to conserve water and to sustain existing stream flows. Through this partnership, as in previous drought years, the EVMD has played a key role in conserving water. From the beginning of the season, the EVMD has anticipated low stream flows and has reduced the amount of water used on its amenities. This reduction is the direct result of a comprehensive drought plan that the EVMD implements in circumstances such as these. The Drought Management Plan is comprised of several levels of irrigation reductions that vary depending on severity. These levels range anywhere from 25% up to 50% savings in water usage with a “Worse Case Scenario” with savings up to 70% of normal usage. As of today, the EVMD is watering at 65% of normal usage and is constantly monitoring conditions and making adjustments. As for the potable water used in our pocket parks, we are under the watering restrictions set forth by the ERW&SD (3 days per week) and irrigating at 60% of normal.
Other key measures that the EVMD has taken to reduce water usage
- Implemented computerized weather station with rain shut off
- Installed a self-contained biodegradable equipment wash off station
- Increased square footage of “native” non-irrigated areas on both golf courses
- Daily audits to improve irrigation efficiencies
- Test water quality twice per year
By implementing these reductions and measures the EVMD plays an integral roll in sustaining stream flows, returning water back into the streams, and contributing to the overall health of the streams.