Lincoln residents asked to conserve outdoor water

By:  KLKN Newsroom
8@klkntv.com

Mayor Chris Beutler encourages Lincoln residents to voluntarily conserve outdoor water for the remainder of the summer.

“From a precipitation standpoint, we are about two inches below normal for the year,” said Mayor Beutler.  “However, the hot weather and lack of rainfall in Lincoln and most of Nebraska over the last few weeks has resulted in Platte River flows dropping to record lows.  Temperatures are predicted to be in the 90s for the next week with no rain in sight.  The aquifer is 71 percent full, and the river flow is one-fifth of normal.  At the same time, we need to remember that conditions in other parts of the State are impacting our water supply.  Many areas in Nebraska are in severe drought.”

Because summer weather is unpredictable and conditions are worsening, Beutler said it's important to implement the voluntary designated day outdoor watering schedule in the City's Water Management Plan.  

•  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.

Jerry Obrist, LWS Utilities Coordinator, said the use of designated days helps to level the daily usage of water throughout the week.  He also said the City's water fees are structured to encourage conservation.  The more water you use, the higher the rate.  The price is $1.34 per unit for the first eight units (about 6,000 gallons).  The price increases to $1.91 per unit for the next 15 units (11,250 gallons).  It increases again to $2.96 per unit for every 750 gallons above 15 units.

A complete description of water rates and the City's Water Management Plan can be found at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: water).

In addition to following the designated day system, the Mayor's Water Conservation Task Force recommends that citizens:

•  water during the cool part of the day;

•  install a rain sensor device on automatic sprinklers;

•  not water when it is windy;

•  adjust sprinklers to water only the lawn, and not the sidewalk or street;

•  use a broom, not a hose and water, for outdoor cleaning; and

•  wash your car with a pail of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse the car.

More information on water conservation is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: conservation).