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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2013 Media Releases

July 23, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 402-441-7831
Jerry Obrist, Lincoln Water System, 402-441-7571

Mayor Urges Water Conservation

Watering restrictions NOT in effect at this time

Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged Lincoln residents to conserve outdoor water for the remainder of the summer by following the designated day schedule for outdoor watering. He said keeping daily water usage to 70 million gallons per day (mgd) or less could prevent water rate increases that would take effect only if voluntary or mandatory water restrictions were implemented. Sunday's water use was 72.5 mgd, the highest use so far this month.

"Despite the wet spring, we are still about eight inches below the normal rainfall amount for the past 12 months," said Mayor Beutler. "Conditions in other parts of the State are impacting our water supply, and many parts of Nebraska remain in severe drought. With no measurable rain here since June 24th and only scattered rain in the rest of the State, flows at the City wellfields on the Platte River are down to about one-third of normal."

The City Council has approved the use of higher water rates during voluntary and mandatory water restrictions as well as the decriminalization of water violations. A revised water management plan also includes new designated watering days for apartment complexes and commercial properties as well as changes for those using private wells. A summary of the changes follows this release.

The designated day watering schedule has remained the same for single-family and duplex properties:

Jerry Obrist, Utilities Coordinator for the Lincoln Water System (LWS), said the designated day schedule helps to level the daily usage of water throughout the week. He suggested those with automatic sprinkler systems adjust them to the designated day schedule now before restrictions take effect. While customers have three designated days to water, lawn professionals say one or two days a week is adequate, and over-watering can lead to shallow roots and lawn diseases.

The City is again using portable message signs to report the City's progress on meeting the 70 mgd goal and to urge conservation. All LWS customers also are receiving flyers with their bills reminding them of the designated day schedule and urging them to "Plant Smart, Water Smart, Grow Smart!"

The Mayor also has proclaimed July as Smart Irrigation Month to promote irrigation practices that conserve water. The Irrigation Association has produced coloring books that LWS will distribute throughout the community. More information is available at

Other ways to decrease outdoor watering include the following:

More information is available by visiting or calling the Water Management Hotline at 402-441-1212.


The City Council approved the following changes May 13, 2013:

The Mayor has approved the following revisions to the Water Management Plan:

Mayor's Office
Media Releases