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Mandatory and voluntary water restrictions are in effect in the city until the fall

Residents who do not adhere to Cortez watering restrictions are at risk of having their water shut off. (Journal file photo)
The restrictions come into effect each year, starting in 2004

Mandatory watering restrictions are in effect in Cortez through Sept. 15, limiting watering between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as per City Ordinance No. 1013, series 2004.

Voluntary water restrictions are also in effect. These restrictions started on April 1 and run until Oct. 31, with no watering from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Watering occurs on odd or even days, depending on the resident’s address in the city.

If a resident lives on an even street address, watering may be done on even calendar days. Those who live on an odd street address may water on odd calendar days.

Months that have 31 days won’t include watering for either odd nor even days on the 31st day of the month.

In 2004, the city passed ordinance 1013, which permanently banned irrigation watering starting on May 15 and running through Sept. 15 each year.

The voluntary restrictions came into effect on May 27, 2021, through Resolution 16, Series 2021, according to information provided by Karie Beougher, Public Works secretary and receptionist.

The city also cautions against “water-wasting activities” that use an excess of water. Some of these activities mentioned are allowing water to overflow and spill onto another’s property or into the street, washing vehicles, driveways and more with an “open hose,” operating an irrigation system that has a broken head or emitter and failure to repair a known leak, whether through a head, valve, spigot, water line or water pipe.

“The phrase ‘use water wisely’ is the focal point of water conservation and the city of Cortez continues to promote water conservation as an important part of daily water usage. Water conservation is important because fresh clean water is a limited resource. Every drop counts,” the city said.

The city ordinance provided by Beougher shared that the city and surrounding areas are “currently undergoing severe drought as to create an emergency for the city and its citizens.”

The city added that anyone who doesn’t adhere to the mandatory ordinance will be at risk for having their water disconnected.

“The City Council has the authority under chapter 27, section 6 of the Cortez City Code to impose emergency or conservation water use restrictions … and the City has the right to disconnect the service of anyone who violates these restrictions,” the ordinance said.

A warning will be given to first-time offenders, but “upon a second observed offense,” the resident will have their water shut off, with a fee imposed to restart water service to the home or business of the offending resident.

Those who are installing a new lawn that must be watered each day, even during the restricted time per the ordinance, can apply for a “new lawn permit” from the Public Works Department to be able to water their lawn without consequence.

The permit will be valid for 21 days for newly seeded lawns and 15 days for sod lawns.

For questions or additional information, residents can contact the Public Works Department at the City Service Center by calling (970) 565-7320.