Mayor Chris Beutler today said residents will not be asked to follow a voluntary designated-day watering schedule at this time. Lincoln Water System (LWS) officials say recent rainfall and improvements to the water system have the City's water supply in good shape. But the Mayor said conserving water is never out of season, especially when it comes to outdoor watering.
"On a hot summer day, more water is used outside watering landscapes than is used inside," Beutler said. "But we know that many are heeding the advice of lawn professionals, who tell us that watering one or two days a week during dry periods is adequate. Since the early 1980s, Lincoln residents have reduced their total per capita water use by 30 percent. I want to thank the public for helping us conserve water and encourage them to keep up the good work!"
After the drought of 2012, Beutler said the City revised its Water Management Plan and took steps to increase the City's water supply. In 2014, LWS finished construction on a new large horizontal collector well in the City's Platte River well fields to provide sufficient supply during drought conditions and to meet future needs for Lincoln's growing population. A fourth horizontal well is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
LWS will continue to review river flows and water usage throughout the spring and summer to determine if further conservation measures are needed. LWS routinely checks groundwater levels and evaluates available supply by modeling the groundwater recharge from the Platte River. LWS reminds residents that water rates are structured to encourage conservation and may increase when water restrictions are implemented. Residents are encouraged to review the designated watering days schedule in case restrictions are needed. When the Water Management Plan was changed, the designated day schedule for all non-single family properties was changed, so those in charge of commercial properties and apartment complexes are especially encouraged to review the schedule.
To decrease outdoor water use, residents are advised to avoid watering in windy conditions or during the heat of the day; raise the mower height to 3.5 inches; leave mulch on the lawn to retain moisture; keep automatic sprinklers maintained; install a rain sensor; reduce watering times; and adjust sprinklers to water only the lawn. More information is available at water.lincoln.ne.gov or by calling LWS at 402-441-7571.