Colo. Town Facing Water Limits
Sep. 10, 2002
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GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) _ The city of Golden has banned all outdoor water use after it lost an appeal of a state order saying it must shut off nearly half its water supply and allow the water to flow to drought-stricken neighbors downstream.
The city, one of the few in the state that had not restricted water use, planned to send workers door to door to advise residents and establish 24-hour patrols to enforce the restriction, City Manager Mike Bestor said after Monday's ruling in state district Water Court in Greeley.
``Everybody's always looking at us to see if we're taking too much and I guess maybe we were,'' Bestor said Tuesday.
Officials said it was too early to say whether they will appeal.
Colorado is in its worst drought in a century and communities across the state are limiting water use. Reservoirs and other water resources have reached all-time lows because of a small snowpack from last winter and little rain throughout the summer. Many cities, including Denver and Aurora, will ban all outdoor water use Oct. 1.
Until now, however, Golden residents had been keeping their lawns green while landscaping went brown in communities downstream.
Golden sits at the top of Clear Creek, which supplies 100 percent of the city's water. The Water Court judge ruled that nearly half the water Golden was diverting from the creek belongs to cities downstream, including Westminster, Arvada and Thornton.
The change will do little to ease the three downstream cities' restrictions, said Kelly DiNatale, Westminster's water resources and treatment manager. ``Even though this helps us a little, we still feel we need to preserve our supply,'' DiNatale said.
``We've cut back watering our parks, we've cut back people's yards, we're doing what other communities are doing, and so far Golden hasn't stepped up to the plate,'' said Westminster Mayor Ed Moss.