On April 3, 2013, the Pueblo Chieftain ran a story that stated the goal of the City of Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department was to make a concerted effort to use less water during the drought to both conserve water and to improve the turf. Some parks that saw an improvement in turf condition were several areas in Mineral Palace, the City Park disc golf course, Vinewood Park and University Park. The Parks Division had to allow the turf to grow a little longer to avoid burning due to the reduction of water.
“We had very few complaints about the turf condition and in fact we had multiple compliments,” said Brad Bixler, Interim Parks and Contracts Manager. “There were several benefits to a reduced watering schedule. All in all, I think we did pretty well with our first attempt.”
The original goal was to reduce watering by 30% to 40% from the 2012 level. According to a Board of Water Works report, in 2013 the City reduced its water use by nearly 33% of the water it had used in 2012 resulting in a total annual reduction of 207,104,000 gallons of water. Seth Clayton, the Water Board’s Director of Administration, acknowledged the City’s efforts, stating, “We greatly appreciate your efforts to conserve water while still ensuring our parks remain aesthetically pleasing.”
The drought, coupled with the watering reduction, also had a significant effect on the Japanese beetles in 2013. Bixler states, “We went from having full beetle traps that hold over 1,000 beetles in 2012 to having as few as 30-75 beetles in a day in 2013.”
In general, Pueblo’s demand for water on a typical winter day is about 11 million gallons, but can increase to more than 50 million gallons when the thermometer hits 100 degrees.
For more information, please contact Pueblo Parks and Recreation at 719-553-2790.