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2008 Media Releases


Date:
March 4, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Jerry Obrist, Lincoln Water System, 441-7571
Nick McElvain, Lincoln Water System, 441-5931


MAYOR SAYS CONTINUED WATER CONSERVATION NEEDED

Mayor Chris Beutler today thanked Lincoln residents for helping to keep water usage down last summer. But he said voluntary water conservation measures will need to be continued next spring because of ongoing drought conditions in the State impacting the City water supply.

“The help of citizens, along with moderate temperatures and timely rains, led to a 1.2 billion gallon drop in water usage in summer 2007 compared to the previous year,” said Beutler. “Because of good rainfall upstream, we also had excellent flows in the Platte River, the main source of our City water supply. But that river system is only about 30 percent full. To maintain an ongoing adequate supply of water, conservation measures are still important.”

Click here for a chart showing water usage statistics for the past six summers.

Under the voluntary conservation measures, residents with addresses ending in even numbers are asked to limit outdoor watering to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Those with addresses ending in odd numbers are asked to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Jerry Obrist of the Lincoln Water System (LWS) said the per capita consumption of water last summer was 144 gallons a day, compared to a ten-year average of 162 gallons per day. He said several factors are monitored to determine the need for water restrictions.

“Adequate river flows throughout the winter and early spring are essential to fill the aquifer at the beginning of each summer season,” said Obrist. “A determination for conservation measures for each summer season is set by reviewing river flows, rainfall, temperatures and summer weather forecasts.”

The Mayor’s Office established a Water Conservation Task Force in 1988, and long-term water conservation is an important element of LWS’s Water Management Plan. Information on water usage, rates and conservation is available on City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov and at local nurseries.

Water Usage May 1 through August 1

  2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
Annual usage in billion gallons 12.8 14.0 13.8 12.8 13.7 14.6
Maximum daily usage in million gallons 85 76 88 66 78 90
Number of days over 90 degrees 41 44 41 19 39 56
Rainfall in inches(normal is 15.9) 17.4 8.9 12.9 11.0 12.9 15.2*
Median river flow, cubic feet per second 7,000 1,830 4,090 3,420 3,520 2,470
Percentage of flow’s historical median(4,585 cfs) 153 40 89 75 77 54
* One-half of the summer rainfall in 2002 occurred in late August.


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