Mayor Don Wesely today said Lincoln has a good and reliable water supply, but reminded residents that water conservation is especially important during the summer months. Mayor Wesely made the comments at a news conference near 84th and Vine streets, where a major water main and street improvement project is under way.
"Continuing improvements to our water system are necessary to meet the needs of our growing city," said Mayor Wesely. "Closing a major street like 84th is inconvenient for motorists, but we have made every effort to keep disruption to a minimum. This is an outstanding example of coordinating our construction projects. To prevent the street from being closed twice, the street work will begin immediately after the water main is in place to meet both our water and transportation needs."
The new 48-inch water transmission main will convey water from the Vine Street reservoir facilities at 75th and Vine south to a new reservoir at 84th and Yankee Hill Road. The project is expected to be completed and 84th Street reopened in August, depending on the weather. Jerry Obrist, Chief Engineer of Lincoln Water System (LWS), said the city began adding supply and treatment facilities to meet the growing needs of the community several years ago.
"We have coordinated our master plan with the update of the City-County Comprehensive Plan," Obrist said. "This line will be able to supply water to development in Stevenís Creek as well as to the growing areas in the southern part of the city."
Obrist said despite below-normal moisture during the winter, Lincolnís reservoirs are at good levels. He cautioned, however, that continued drought in the mountain states and in western Nebraska could negatively impact Lincolnís water supplies. Obrist said Platte River flows in western Nebraska are below normal, reservoirs in the Platte stem system are half-full or less, and flows past Lincolnís water supply are below normal.
"The city is doing all it can to ensure water supplies are adequate, but we do need citizen help in conserving water," said Wesely. "Even simple steps, like watering in the coolest parts of the day, can make a big difference. With the publicís volunteer cooperation, we can avoid taking mandatory measures."
The Mayorís Water Conservation Task Force has information on indoor and outdoor watering and drought-tolerant plants and grasses. Information can be found on the city web site at www.lincoln.ne.gov. Brochures are also available at local nurseries, LWS offices at 2021 North 27th Street and the County City Building, 555 South 10th Street.
At the news conference the Mayor also recognized winners of the Water Conservation Task Forceís annual art contest. The work of Schyler Hearn of Fredstrom Elementary is being displayed on a StarTran bus, and the work of Johnny Knoche of Meadow Lane Elementary is being displayed on a billboard.