Water Restrictions Likely in Lincoln this Summer

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

The change in season brings a lot of things to life; flowers, insects and concern about the city's water supply.

If you're planning on growing new grass or lush flower gardens this summer, you may want to think again. Lincoln city officials are preparing for another scorcher, warning residents that water restrictions are on the way.

"We think, at a minimum, we would have to implement phase one of the plan, voluntary conservation but we'd be looking at a June time frame," said Miki Esposito, Director of Public Works & Utilities.

After learning from last year's mistakes, there have been changes to that plan.

"We've exempted things like putting water in bird baths, harvesting water in rain barrels, using watering cans. So we're really focusing our plan on large water uses," Esposito said.

Another major problem was the harsh penalty for ignoring the restriction but the city says they've fixed that too.

"We've really taken a hard look at the enforcement provision to decriminalize and incentivize conservation," Esposito said.

Those changes came just in time. A recent measurement of the water supply shows levels are already under the recommend 90 percent mark.

"We're about 88 percent of operating volume currently and we'll keep a close eye on it," Esposito said.

Officials say the numbers are based largely off weather conditions so it's hard to tell just how bad things will get.

The city tells residents to prepare by checking with a landscaper before planting anything new this spring. They say it's also a good idea to know how to set your sprinkler to the designated watering schedule.

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