donala logo
Donala Water & Sanitation District

 DONALA WATER & SANITATION DISTRICT

 719-488-3603                  www.donalawater.org               June 2012

 

WATER RESTRICTIONS IN FULL SWING

As announced in last month’s newsletter, Donala’s irrigation restriction program is alive and well.  If you have questions about when to water, check out the Donala website (www.donalawater.org) – click on “water” on the left menu and “rationing”.  Or simply call our office at 488-3603.  The program will continue through Monday, September 3.  However, remembering how hot and dry September of 2010 was and the extreme demand irrigators put on our system, we request you continue the program of no more than 3 days/week year round.  We saw from April that 2012 is shaping up to be a warm/dry year.  By the end of April we had already supplied 17% more water than the same time last year.  One point was obvious – we still have customers who use an excessive amount of water on their bluegrass.  Many used over 30,000 gallons in April.  Ten exceeded our self-described “glutton factor” of 40,000.  Presumably the corresponding high water bills will get some attention.

The weather definitely affected the mountain snowpack, which in turn affected our water supply from the Willow Creek Ranch.  Although it is early in the run-off season it looks like we will only get about half of our allocation from the ranch this summer.  That means we will run the wells more than we would like to keep up with demand.  Please help us by reducing the demand, adhering to the irrigation restrictions and being “water wise”.

ELECTION RESULTS

The election for Directors on May 8th garnered 174 voters.  Bill George was re-elected for a 4-year term.  Ken Judd was also elected for 4-years, and Bob Denny was voted in for a 2-year term.  Our thanks to Gar Graham, Tim Wheeler and Gene Thornton for their candidacy.  There will be three 4-year director positions open for the May 2014 election. 

BOARD OFFICERS

At the May 17th meeting the new Directors were sworn in and election for officers was held.  Your new Board of Directors is:

 

                                                            Bill George           President

                                                            Dave Powell         Vice-President

                                                            Ken Judd             Sec/Treasurer

                                                            Bill Nance

                                                            Bob Denny

 INITIAL RECLAMATION STUDY COMPLETE

 The Donala Extended Water Supply Study (DEWSS) team completed its initial report and presented it    to the Donala Board on May 17.  Once again, our thanks to those in the community who served on the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for this process.  Your input was extremely valuable and we look forward to further coordination as we move forward. 

The goal of the study was to investigate the use of the nearly 400 acre feet of water we lose down Monument Creek each year from our wastewater plant.  Although, we use treated effluent on the Gleneagle Golf course for irrigation - either directly or as augmentation water, there is still enough water lost that is ours to use to extinction that would supply one third of our service area if it could be returned.

 The consultant team looked at several different processes on seven locations.  The idea was to compare process and physical costs to simply buying more renewable water and to determine what “hoops” would need to be jumped through.  Funding becomes the bottom line.  One or two of the options appear feasible, but more investigation will be required.  Water quality analyses, pumping tests, environmental investigations, and land availability issues will all be looked into over the next few years.

With the supply of water we currently own, and the forecast demand we see down the road, we believe we have 5-8 years to do some more planning before we need to come up with the millions of dollars associated with this project or one like it.

 THERE’S STILL TIME. . .

Planting season in Colorado begins as soon as you can get a shovel into the ground and ends when the ground freezes. So, if you haven’t begun making the landscape alterations you wanted yet, fear not!  Spring is not the only time to plant in Colorado. You can plant all summer, as long as you are willing to water your new vegetation regularly to prevent heat stress. Remember – hand watering is acceptable during otherwise restricted times.  And, one of the best times to plant is in fall; while the soil is still warm but the high temperatures of summer have cooled.

Many Donala customers who took advantage of the district’s low cost landscape design services by having their designs completed during the winter months are now installing their new landscapes. It’s not toolate to make an appointment for your own custom landscape design that could be installed or phased in this summer or fall. Call Susan for a free water-wise consultation at 488-3603.

 

NOW PUTTING ON A SHOW AT DONALA GARDENS

Customers have been asking “What’s that deep blue plant blooming at Donala Gardens just south of the Gleneagle sign?” The mound shaped plant is May Night Salvia, which will be covered withdeep purple blue spikes of flowers for about 4 weeks, with sporadic blooms recurring throughout the summer with deadheading(cutting off the spent flowers). The taller, airier plant with cobalt blueflowers lining the stems is a new introduction from Plant Select called Grand Mesa Penstemon. It’s native to the western slope of Colorado, and will put on a show of flowers that lasts from now until theend of June. We weren’t sure it would winter over here in Donala, but it has done extremely well in spite of the altitude and wind. 

Both plants are perennials and grow well in part shade or full sun, thrive in poor soil and consume little water.  They are available for purchase at local nurseries.  If you have any questions about any of thewater-wise plants growing in Donala Gardens, you are welcome to call us for more information.