No water restrictions for the city...yet - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

No water restrictions for the city...yet

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By: Kayla Bremer

As of right now, Lincoln does not have any water restrictions, but it could only be a matter of time if conditions don't change.

In the dead heat of summer, water use is on the rise.

Residents all over Nebraska are out watering their yards and plants, desperately trying to keep them alive and green.

But soon, they may have to cut back.

"If we go a couple more weeks without precipitation, it's a virtual guarantee that we're going to go into some type of restrictions," State Climatologist Al Dutcher said.

With slim chances of rain over the next week and water levels in the Platte continuing to go down, city leaders could announce the summer's first restrictions.

As of right now, Mayor Beutler has only asked people to limit their water use, but voluntary watering restrictions could be on the way.

Jerry Obrist from Lincoln Water System says Lincoln residents used more than 72 millions gallons on Tuesday alone, the most of any day this year.  The goal is to only use around 65 million a day.

He says a good rain this weekend, plus a drop in usage could delay any city action.

For the year, precipitation totals are still slightly up, but lacking for the month of July.

"We're sitting somewhere around an 1½ to 1¾ behind and we're increasing that about a 10th of an inch a day," Dutcher said.

The extreme eastern part of the state has been out of drought conditions for most of the summer, but in the last two weeks Lincoln has moved back to abnormally dry.

"What it is is a warning signal that if these conditions continue, we're going to move to a first categorization of drought which is what we consider moderate drought or D1 level."

City leaders encourage residents to only water when necessary.  Also, adjust your sprinklers so the water doesn't spray over sidewalks or into the street.

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