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Irrigation water is being saved for warmer days in Gunnison, with the irrigation season beginning in mid-April instead of April 1 as allowed by law.

Storage water is about 6,000 acre-feet short of what it was a year ago, according to Allen Dyring of the Gunnison Irrigation Co. He also noted that the ground has been saturated, relieving the need for early irrigation.Dyring warned users of the pressurized irrigation system not to drink the water because it can contain insects, dirt and other materials that make the water unfit for human consumption.

Officials also warned of the possibility of a lack of water and loss in pressure if too many people use the irrigation system at one time. They added that problems from plugged lines and sprinklers can be avoided through proper use of the system.

Suggestions for using the system: Get sprinklers with removable screens and clean the screens daily when in use; don't allow water on the house and don't wash automobiles with it because mud may form and it is difficult to remove after the water dries; use sprinklers and avoid flood irrigation because the latter will cause loss of pressure in the system.