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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases


Date:
May 18, 2006
For More Information Contact:
David Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547
Jerry Obrist, Lincoln Water System, 441-7571


MAYOR CALLS FOR VOLUNTARY WATER CONSERVATION

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today encouraged Lincoln residents to voluntarily conserve outdoor water use this summer by following the designated day schedule instituted two years ago. She encouraged good conservation practices as the unpredictable summer months approach and the state continues to experience dry conditions.

The Lincoln area has had below normal precipitation for the month of May, with Platte River flows also below normal. The Platte River wellfield that supplies Lincoln with its drinking water is 93 percent full. The reservoir systems on the North Platte River that the City relies on for water are only 35 to 40 percent full.

“With the coming summer months, it’s reassuring to know that our water supply is in good shape,” said Mayor Seng. “But we know from experience that the weather and the corresponding potential drought conditions can change quickly.” The Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force is encouraging citizens of Lincoln to practice water conservation through the summer.

Properties 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. Properties 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.

LWS Chief Engineer Jerry Obrist 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,” Obrist said.

Water is billed by the unit. One unit is 100 cubic feet of water or about 750 gallons. The price is 99.5 cents per unit for the first eight units (about 6,000 gallons). The price increases to $1.38 per unit for the next 15 units (11,250 gallons). It increases again to $2.10 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.

Obrist encouraged those who have automatic lawn irrigation systems to set them to follow the designated watering days system. He said 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 Obrist. “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.” Obrist said that the use of designated days also helps to level the daily usage of water throughout the week.


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