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Drought 2014 Preparations

If current drought conditions continue, the City of Ashland will likely initiate water curtailment in the next few weeks.  The City of Ashland encourages residents and businesses to help the city conserve our limited water supply by planning now for how they can reduce their water use. 
 
When the amount of water consumed by Ashland water users exceeds the amount of water flowing into the City’s Reeder Reservoir from the East and West Forks of Ashland Creek, water curtailment will start.  The condition that most impacts water use and water flow is warm weather: people water their lawns, shrubs, flowers and vegetables while the snow in the mountains melts more rapidly.  Eventually, the water flowing into the reservoir decreases and the water use increases.  If unchecked, decreasing reservoir levels, even if supplemented with Talent Irrigation District water, could lead to severe late-summer water shortages.
 
On April 29, the total snow pack in the Ashland watershed measured just 9 inches. About 6.6 million gallons of water flowed into Reeder Reservoir and Ashland water users consumed 2.4 million gallons of water on that date.  The community uses as much as 7 million gallons of water per day during hot summer months, when flows into the reservoir, normally fed by snowmelt, can drop to 2 million gallons a day or less.
 
In anticipation of drought conditions, the City and the Parks Department will not plant trees, shrubs or annuals until drought conditions end and will delay the start of irrigation on city-owned property as long as possible.  
 
Ashland offers a wide variety of water conservation programs, incentives and tips, as well as free irrigation system evaluations, low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and other tools for residents.  Learn more at www.ashland.or.us/conserve.  For more information on water-wise landscaping visit www.ashlandsaveswater.org/

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