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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
September 5, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Mandatory Water Restrictions Lifted
Mayor asks for voluntary measures to be followed

Mayor Don Wesely today lifted the mandatory water restrictions for the City of Lincoln that had been in place since July 20 due to dry conditions and high water usage. The Mayor said the City is asking residents to voluntarily water their lawns no more than every other day.

Lincoln's water supply comes from the well fields near Ashland, which pump water from an underground aquifer. The aquifer is dependent on river flows to replace the water drawn out.

"The recent rains and the lower average water usage have given us the opportunity to lift the mandatory measures," said Mayor Wesely. "River flows are averaging normal or above normal and, most importantly, the aquifer is now more than 80 percent re-charged."

According to the Nebraska State Climate Office, the August rainfall for Lincoln totaled 8.29 inches. The normal rainfall for August is 3.35 inches.

The Lincoln Water System said no customers had their water service discontinued as a result of violating the mandatory restrictions, but several hundred warning letters were sent.

The Mayor's Water Conservation Task Force today also released a list of water crisis recommendations. They include: modifying the watering schedule from the odd-even system to set days of the week;

providing regulatory direction for those with private water well permits; educating water users about sprinkler use and lawn and plant maintenance; recognizing large businesses that practice good water conservation; and requiring automatic rain sensors on sprinkler systems.

"I want to thank the Task Force for developing these recommendations, and I will consider all of them as we plan for similar water emergencies in the future," said Wesely. The current Chair of the Task Force is Michael Hutchinson of Wyuka.

City residents are reminded that water fees are structured to encourage conservation. Information on water rates can be found on the City web site at www.lincoln.ne.gov.

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