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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2005 Media Releases


Date:
May 19, 2005
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Jerry Obrist, Lincoln Water System, 441-7571


Mayor Institutes Voluntary Watering Plan
Mayor calls for continued water conservation

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today encouraged Lincoln residents to voluntarily practice outdoor water conservation this summer by following the designated day schedule instituted last year. She encouraged good stewardship of the local water supply while other parts of the state remain in drought conditions.

“The Lincoln water supply is in good shape as we approach summer,” said Mayor Seng. “But we all know from living in Nebraska, that our situation can change. Weather experts suggest that the drought has not gone away, and the Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force and I are encouraging conservation practices as we prepare for the summer months.”

The Lincoln area has had near-normal precipitation as of mid-May, but Platte River flows are slightly below normal. The Platte River wellfield that supplies the City of Lincoln with its drinking water is 96 percent full. Reservoir systems on the North Platte River are only 30 percent full.

Those with street addresses ending in an even number, including zero, are asked to voluntarily limit outdoor water use (watering lawns and washing vehicles) to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Those with addresses ending in odd numbers are asked to voluntarily limit outdoor watering to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those property owners with more than one street address at the same location can choose either daily schedule and notify the Lincoln Water System (LWS) of their decision.

Public Utilities Administrator Steve Masters said residents have done a good job conserving outdoor water in the past. He reminded residents that the City’s water fees are structured to encourage conservation. “The more water you use, the higher your rate, so those who water excessively this summer can expect high water bills,” Masters said.

Water is billed by the unit. One unit is 100 cubic feet of water or about 750 gallons. The price is 93 cents per unit for the first eight units (about 6,000 gallons). The price increases to $1.28 per unit for the next 15 units (11,250 gallons). It increases again to $1.89 per unit for every 750 gallons above 15 units. A complete description of water rates and the City’s Water Management Plan are available on the City Web site, lincoln.ne.gov, under Public Works and Utilities.

In addition to following the designated day system, LWS and the Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force recommend:

  • watering during the cool part of the day;
  • not watering when it is windy;
  • adjusting sprinklers to water only the lawn, and not the sidewalk or street;
  • using a broom, not a hose and water, for outdoor cleaning; and
  • washing your car with a pail of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse the car.

Masters encouraged those who have automatic lawn irrigation systems to set their sprinklers to utilize the designated watering days the Mayor has requested. He praised Lincoln for continuing to practice water conservation, noting that many Lincoln citizens have already set their systems to operate in the morning, the cooler part of the day.

“Our statistics show that enough people are conforming to our conservation suggestions that our peak time for water usage has shifted from later in the day to earlier in the day,” said Masters. “Residents have always shown a willingness to assist with our water management practices in the past. I’m confident they’ll follow suit this time as well, and we appreciate their help.” Masters said that the use of designated days also helps to level the daily usage of water throughout the week.


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