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may prompt additional mandatory restrictions
Mayor Don Wesely said today City water usage fell over the weekend in response to mandatory water restrictions implemented Saturday, July 20. But he and officials with the Lincoln Water System (LWS) said if usage continues to top 70 million gallons daily, additional mandatory restrictions may be implemented by the end of the week.
"I want to thank the citizens of Lincoln for their cooperation in this emergency," said Mayor Wesely. "Despite the continued hot, dry weather over the weekend, usage dropped from 80 million gallons Friday to 75.3 million gallons Saturday and 72.5 million gallons Sunday. Unfortunately, that usage is still too high."
LWS continues to pump close to 80 million gallons a day to fill reservoirs within the City. An analysis of the City’s Ashland well fields shows that the river is flowing at about 700 cubic feet per second (CFS). If the river flow is 1,000 CFS, the City can pump about 70 million gallons daily for 90 days. If the river flow is 200 CFS, the City can pump 65 million gallons a day for 90 days.
"We are asking the community to work with us on a goal of using no more than 65 million gallons a day," said Wesely. "We’ll post the previous day’s water usage on our City web site every morning, so residents can monitor our situation daily." The City web site is
The restrictions now in effect state that properties with street addresses ending in even numbers may only water their lawns and wash cars and other vehicles on even-numbered days. Those with addresses ending in odd numbers may only water on odd-numbered days. This is the first time since 1974 that mandatory water restrictions have been implemented in Lincoln.
LWS received about 100 calls on the restrictions Saturday. About half the callers were asking for information, and the other half were reporting those not following the restrictions. About 50 calls were received Sunday, and again, they were half inquiries and half complaints. The City is asking citizens who see violations to contact the property owner to make sure they understand the regulations before calling LWS. The number for information and complaints is 441-7571. The Lincoln Police Department received about 12 calls over the weekend.
The City’s last significant rain fell the weekend of July 5. The official rainfall total for Lincoln was .17 inches for the month of June. The normal June rainfall is 3.54 inches. Mayor Wesely initially asked for citizens to conserve water June 25. The Mayor institute a voluntary odd-even outdoor watering schedule July 6. The City Parks and Recreation Department began taking water conservation measures July 2. The County-City Public Building Commission put all local government facilities on the odd-even watering system July 9.
The rules for mandatory water restrictions include the following measures:
In addition to following the odd-even system, the LWS recommends watering during the cool part of the day; not watering when it is windy; adjusting sprinklers to water only the lawn, and not the sidewalk or street; using a broom, not a hose and water, for outdoor cleaning; and washing cars with a pail of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse the car.
City residents are also reminded that water fees are structured to encourage conservation. Information on water rates can be found on the City web site.