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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2007 Media Releases


Date:
July 23, 2007
For More Information Contact:
David Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547
Jerry Obrist, Lincoln Water System, 441-7571


MAYOR CALLS FOR CONTINUED VOLUNTARY WATER CONSERVATION

Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged Lincoln residents to continue to conserve water this summer by voluntarily following the designated day schedule instituted three years ago.

The Lincoln area was below normal for precipitation in the months of June and July, with dwindling Platte River flows. Lincoln has received about an inch of rain in the past 39 days. The Platte River wellfield that supplies Lincoln with its drinking water is 78 percent full. The reservoir systems on the North Platte River that are used by the City are only 35 to 40 percent full.

On July 18, Lincoln Water System (LWS) customers used 85 million gallons of water, the highest usage since June of 2002. The next day, the City received a little more than half an inch of rain, and usage fell to 52 million gallons.

“A little rain makes a huge difference in water consumption, but we can’t rely on Mother Nature to help us out,” said Mayor Beutler. “With the continued summer heat, our water supply will be stressed. Good conservation practices are very important during the unpredictable summer months as the state continues to experience dry conditions.”

Those whose properties have street addresses ending in an even number, including zero, are asked to voluntarily limit outdoor water use to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Those whose properties have addresses ending in odd numbers are asked to voluntarily limit outdoor watering to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those with property having more than one street address at the same location can choose either daily schedule and notify the Lincoln Water System (LWS) of their decision.

LWS Utilities Coordinator Jerry Obrist said residents have done a good job conserving outdoor water in the past. He reminded residents that the City’s water fees are structured to encourage conservation. The more water you use, the higher your rate.

Water is billed by the unit. One unit is 100 cubic feet of water or about 750 gallons. The price is $1.05 per unit for the first eight units (about 6,000 gallons). The price increases to $1.48 per unit for the next 15 units (11,250 gallons). It increases again to $2.28 per unit for every 750 gallons above 15 units. A complete description of water rates and the City’s Water Management Plan are available on the City Web site, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: water).

In addition to following the designated day system, LWS and the Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force recommend:
  • 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 your car with a pail of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse the car.

Obrist encouraged those who have automatic lawn irrigation systems to set them to follow the designated watering days system. He said many Lincoln citizens have already set their systems to operate in the morning, the cooler part of the day.


Mayor's Office    Media Releases