Parks and Recreation Department taking conservation measures
Mayor Don Wesely today asked Lincoln residents to voluntarily limit outdoor water use to an odd-even alternate day schedule to conserve water during the hot, dry weather. Lincoln’s water usage averaged more than 66.3 million gallons of water per day in June, an all-time high for the month. From July 1 through 4, water usage has averaged 80.7 million gallons per day. Last year’s high usage came in August, with an average of 65.7 million gallons used per day that month. The all-time high usage in Lincoln was 70.9 million gallons per day in July 1974.
“With the high water usage and no rain in the forecast, it is the time to ask citizens to comply with an odd-even arrangement,” said Mayor Wesely. “Our water system is designed to keep up with the demand, but there is no reason to put unnecessary demands on our supply. Conserving water is always a good idea, and it is necessary now to prevent mandatory restrictions.”
Mayor Wesely said City government will follow the conservation measures recommended by the Lincoln Water System to reduce water use. Measures include watering the ornamental gardens only during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation and reducing the watering of the public golf course fairways.
The Mayor said the community does not yet have an actual water shortage, but due to the ongoing drought conditions, residents have been using a lot more water than normal. “If people will voluntarily use less to reduce consumption back to the City’s more typical usage levels, we can prevent an actual shortage from occurring during these hot, dry conditions,” said Wesely.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, those properties with street addresses ending in an even number, including zero, are asked to water lawns and wash cars and other vehicles on even-numbered calendar days. Addresses ending in odd numbers are asked to water on odd-numbered calendar days. Those property owners with more than one street address at the same location can choose either even- or odd- numbered days and notify the Lincoln Water System of their decision.
Jerry Obrist of the Lincoln Water System said residents have done a good job of reducing water usage since the Mayor first asked residents to conserve water June 25. Obrist said water usage went down from more than 90 million gallons a day to about 82 million gallons.
Public Works and Utilities Director Allan Abbott also reminded residents that the City’s water fees are structured to encourage conservation. “The more water you use, the higher the price,” Abbott said. “Those who don’t cut back on their watering can expect high water bills.”
Water is billed by the unit. One unit is 100 cubic feet of water or about 750 gallons. The price is 79 cents per unit for the first 8 units (about 6,000 gallons). The price increases to $1.09 for the next 15 units (11,250 gallons). It increases again to $1.45 per unit for every 750 gallons above 15 units. A complete description of water rates is available on the city web site at under Public Works and Utilities.
In addition to following the odd-even system, the Lincoln Water System recommends the following:
If dry conditions continue, Johnson said more water conservation measures may be taken, including (in priority order):