As the warmer months approach, Mayor Chris Beutler said watering restrictions will not be necessary because the City's water supply is in excellent shape. And he said the recent completion of a major new water pipeline will mean increased capacity and lower energy use for the Lincoln Water System (LWS). This is the second consecutive year the Mayor is not asking residents to follow the voluntary designated-day watering schedule implemented eight years ago.
"Lincoln is blessed with an adequate supply of high-quality water, but we still need to use good water conservation practices," Mayor Beutler said. "We also want to remind residents that water rates are structured to encourage conservation — the more water you use, the higher the rate. Even small measures can save a lot of water, and that means lower water bills for consumers."
Jerry Obrist, LWS Chief Engineer, said precipitation is near normal levels, the aquifer is full and flows in the Platte River are slightly above normal. Lincoln's water comes from well fields in the Platte near the City's Ashland treatment plant. In January, a new 60-inch water transmission pipeline was completed from the treatment plant to the pump station in northeast Lincoln. Obrist said the project increases capacity from 100 million gallons to 170 million gallons per day, provides additional reliability in the water system and reduces electricity consumption in its early years of operation.
Obrist said the City is currently reviewing its water rate structure and its schedule for the replacement of aging infrastructure. "We must ensure that the system always has the capacity for fire protection and basic health needs," Obrist said. "Many factors must be taken into account, including metering, accounting, maintenance and replacement of our current infrastructure. And we must have resources to build new infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing city."
A complete description of water rates and the City's Water Management Plan are available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: water). The Mayor's Water Conservation Task Force recommends the following: