City of Lincoln
2006 Media Releases
With continued hot, dry weather, Mayor Coleen J. Seng is strongly encouraging business and residential water customers to follow the City’s voluntary outdoor watering restrictions. This summer’s rainfall is 6.5 inches below normal, and little rainfall is forecast. Property owners with street addresses ending in even numbers (including zero) are asked to limit outdoor water use to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Those with addresses ending in odd numbers are asked to limit outdoor watering to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Mondays are “no watering” days. Gardening experts advise that watering lawns once per week is generally adequate.
“I want to thank those who are following the voluntary restrictions on outdoor watering,” said Mayor Seng. “But more conservation is needed because the well fields are not replenishing as quickly as they should due to dry conditions around the Platte River where Lincoln’s wells are located. We must reduce the daily outdoor water consumption or face mandatory watering restrictions. Our priorities are to make sure we have adequate water for drinking and for emergency use.”
Jerry Obrist, Chief Engineer for the Lincoln Water System (LWS), said flows in the Platte River are at levels similar to 2002, the last year the City implemented mandatory watering restrictions. Obrist said river flows have declined in the last week, and the Lincoln well fields can only sustain an average usage rate of about 65 million gallons per day. Water usage this past week averaged about 70 million gallons a day.
LWS measures local water usage daily. If weekly water usage continues to exceed what the Lincoln well fields can provide, LWS will recommend next week that mandatory outdoor water restrictions be implemented.
Under mandatory restrictions, residents would be required to follow the designated watering day schedule. According to City ordinance, LWS is authorized to turn off water service to locations disregarding mandatory outdoor watering restrictions. The water will be turned on only when disconnection and reconnection fees have been paid to LWS and a $100 bond has been filed.
The public can track daily water usage on the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: water). The site also includes suggestions for water conservation, the City’s Water Management Plan and water rates. LWS water rates are structured to encourage conservation -- those who use more water are charged a higher rate.