Mayor Chris Beutler on Monday said the City is taking steps to acquire federal and state resources to more quickly repair and stabilize Lincoln's flood-damaged water production facilities at the Platte River.
"We have contacted the Governor's Office and asked him to issue a disaster declaration for the City of Lincoln. The declaration is needed to request the state and federal funding that will help us restore our water production. We must take every precautionary measure to protect our water supply. The Governor is going to bat for us," Beutler said. "I am asking the City Council to approve a resolution today that allows the emergency declaration to extend beyond 72 hours, if necessary. This gives us some flexibility on requesting state and federal funding to assist us in our efforts. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and monitoring the situation around the clock."
On Sunday, Beutler announced mandatory water restrictions for Lincoln residents following a temporary lapse in water production at the City wellfields near Ashland. Residents did not see a disruption in service because the reservoir system was full enough to maintain operations. Water production has resumed, although at a rate lower than normal. Lincoln's supply of drinking water is safe.
Level 2 Water Use Restriction Emergency will remain in effect until further notice. Hospitals and care facilities are exempt from the restrictions. The Level 2 mandatory restrictions include:
Beutler said early efforts to conserve water have been successful. "We are encouraged this morning as even very early in the water restrictions we saw a dip in the water use-about 1 million gallons-when everyone was getting ready for work or school. That's a good sign. We are making progress and we are hopeful that will continue," Beutler said. "I cannot thank enough our residents who are stepping up and taking action to reduce our water consumption. We all need to continue these efforts for the next several days."
Water is now restricted to indoor use only. Residents are asked shorten showers and postpone dishwashing and laundry. Residents are encouraged to visit water.lincoln.ne.gov/flood for the latest Lincoln Water System operations updates during Platte River flooding.