Frequently Asked Questions

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Water Conservation Frequently Asked Questions

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How does conserving outdoor water use benefit the community?

Our community’s effort to practice water conservation is key to ensuring an adequate supply of water throughout the years and especially during hot summer months when outdoor water use attributes to two-thirds of all water use in Lincoln.

Lincoln Water System suggests residents and businesses consider watering one to two days per week or less if your lawn does not need it or if rain is in the forecast. It is through our collective efforts that we can safeguard our water supply for essential needs including bathing, cooking, fire protection, health services, and waste removal, business and industrial uses, and other recreational and personal uses year-round.

Does conserving water save property owners money on their water bills?

Yes. The City of Lincoln water rates are structured to encourage water conservation. The more water property-owners use, the higher rate per unit a property owner pays in their water bill. This means some customers can find themselves paying over twice the rate for their additional outdoor water use compared to what they pay for indoor water use. At the higher rate, one watering of an average size 7,000 sq. ft. lawn is estimated to cost about $15. If you water three times per week, that’s $45 per week in water costs. The benefits of being water wise will pay off as we conserve this natural resource and save money in your water bill.

Learn More: Lincoln’s Water Rates

What are some simple ways I can conserve my outdoor water use?

  • Consider using the voluntary water conservation designated days as a general guide to managing your outdoor water use in future years. Watering one to two days a week and only when your plants and grass need it will keep it alive and healthy. In fact, watering deeply just once a week is much better for your lawn than shallow waterings every day.
  • Don’t “set and forget” your automatic irrigation system. Consider turning the system off and turning your sprinkler system back on only when your lawn needs it.
  • Be weather-wise. Increase your lawn’s mowing height to help keep moisture in the soil, and don’t water if rain is forecasted for the week ahead, or if it’s windy outside. Learn More: Lawn Care Tips
  • With your landscape plants and flowers, use mulch to limit evaporation and retain moisture in the soil. Consider the many options available for drought-resistant plants. Invest in rain barrels to hold water for later use. Learn More: Waterwise Plan List Rain Barrels

How can I change my sprinkler settings to run on certain days and times?

Lincoln Water System encourages property owners to turn their automatic sprinkler systems off and only use them when your lawn needs it. We recommend watering in the morning hours right before the sun rises to be the best time to water lawns with the least amount of wind and risk of evaporation.

If you prefer to keep your automatic sprinklers on, identify the brand of sprinkler system you have and then conduct an internet search to find out how you can change your sprinkler system’s settings.

What is the City doing to conserve water?

The City of Lincoln follows the City’s Water Management Plan.

Lincoln Transportation and Utilities continues to prioritize and value sustainability and works to find ways to reuse water and wastewater where we can. One example includes Lincoln’s two water resource recovery facilities that reuse five million gallons of reclaimed water to help heat and cool the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Innovation Campus buildings and the Lincoln Electric System Ted Bundy Generating Station.

Is our water safe to drink?

Yes. Lincoln’s water is safe to drink and meets all state and federal guidelines and requirements.