Lincoln has voluntary water restrictions that could change to mandatory if usage doesn't drop.
And with just one–hundredth of an inch of rain last night, things aren't looking good.. How bad is it? City leaders are actually worried we may get to the point where we don't have enough water to fight fires. So, they're asking residents to cut back.
Jorja Brazda–Witters is an avid gardener. She says she understands the need to use less water and she is trying to be careful—even if it costs her a few plants along the way.
"This succulent right here—I mean it's dying. I love it, but I am not going to pour water on it," says Brazda-Witters while looking at her garden.
The little rain we got yesterday basically did nothing to help the situation. The mayor says everyone needs to lower their consumption by 20 percent.
"We must reduce out water usage to no more than 65 million gallons per day," says Mayor Beutler.
On Tuesday, the city used 80 million gallons. Yesterday, people used a little less, but it still isn't enough.
"We wanna thank you for what you did yesterday of lowering it 4 million, you're headed in the right way, we need to get down to 65," says the mayor.
Officials say we are using more water this July than we have in the same month in the last five years—and by a lot. The city says—they don't want to mandate restrictions. it's expensive and takes more time for cops to give out citations.
For people like Jorja, with a garden full of plants and a relatively green lawn—people wonder what her trick is.
"I always pick native plants or plants that need less water. Through this heat wave, we have not been watering every week. We probably water every 2–3 weeks."
If the city can get down to the goal of 65 million gallons, they estimate we'll be able to keep a supply for 45 days. If we use much more than that, again, it could start to threaten the source for emergencies and fighting fires.
Beutler said the 65 million gallon goal can be reached if everyone observes the voluntary designated day outdoor watering schedule:.
• Properties with street addresses ending in even numbers, including zero, are asked to voluntarily limit outdoor water use (watering lawns and washing vehicles) to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
• Properties with addresses ending in odd numbers are asked to voluntarily limit outdoor watering to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
• Those property owners with more than one street address at the same location can choose either daily schedule and notify the Lincoln Water System (LWS) of their decision.
• Those with automatic lawn irrigation systems are encouraged to set them to follow the designated watering days system.
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