Fort Collins advocates for Oct. 1 shutoff of irrigation; offering shot at $50 discount on water utility bills

watering hose

Autumn is a time for falling leaves and cooling temperatures, not for non-natural watering of lawns and gardens to stay green, according to those promoting a City of Fort Collins climate action challenge.

The first phase of the “Shift Your Water” campaign in partnership with the CSU President’s Sustainability Commission seeks for residents to stop using water for irrigation purposes by Oct. 1, giving everyone just one week left to participate.

“This campaign is essentially asking folks to turn off their water just two to three weeks earlier than normal,” said Jensen Morgan with Fort Collins’ environmental services climate team. “The water saving impact has the potential to be huge.

“Last year, water restrictions required the community to turn their water off by Oct. 1. The result was a 91% compliance rate and savings of over 100 million gallons of water in a matter of weeks.”

The water conservation effort is one of three coming from Fort Collins’ in the coming months. Future actions will focus on taking shorter showers and replacing non-water efficient toilets with more effective models.

“We’re still exploring the timeline, but the initial thought is that this is when most folks take longer showers and so has the greatest potential for water savings,” Morgan said, “definitely a tougher sell.”

Replacing toilets with more efficient ones could be a year-round aim, but Fort Collins will advance that request from January until May in partnership with Larimer County Conservation Corps. More information about that challenge will be released closer to the new year.

The Shift Your Water page had more than 425 people sign up by mid-morning Sept. 24. The city is offering a chance at $50 off of participants’ next water utility bill as an incentive to sign up and be one of the 100 eligible people to realize the savings.

Shift Your Water promo

More information

Fort Collins’ Our Climate Future Plan

Playing field exception

Fort Collins’ website said that parks and other facilities that manage playing fields typically  keep watering into October for player safety and to ensure grass regeneration continues during sports use.