In the midst of a severe and unrelenting drought, our city commission approved a Stage 2 water warning declaration at its meeting Thursday night. The warning means the city will reduce water to just enough to keep the roots of the grass alive on all parks and ball fields that utilize potable water.
Outdoor water use will be prohibited from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and connections to the potable water system for irrigation also will be barred.
The move implements the second-tier fee for heavy water users, increasing the rate from $7.42 to $10.30 per 750 gallons. The fee will effect March water usage.
The city decided to move to water warning early due to the upcoming spring planting season
"Knowing that a lot of people plan their lawns and gardens now, I would hate to see somebody plan a garden or a lawn replacement program and then penalize them later from a monetary standpoint through the conservation tier fee, " the city manager said. "This gives people the opportunity to plan or not to plan knowing they’re going to pay more for that water usage outdoors."
The drought is weighing heavy on the minds of city officials.
"If we never have droughts, our water sources would last us 100 years." the city manager said. "But we do have droughts, and we have to rely on the fact that, at some point, there will be rain again."
The next step in the city’s water conservation plan is a Stage 3 water emergency, which would implement even stricter conservation rules including a complete ban on outdoor watering and closure of municipal swimming pools.
Since I go to bed at 9 pm, get up at 4:30 am, get to work before 6 am and get off work at 2 pm; it looks like I'll be watering Fri night/Sat morning and Sat night/Sun morning with potable water. I'll use whatever I catch with the rain barrels and bath water at other times. Time to reduce the planting list for the vegetable garden and the containers.
We have cold air and snow in our forecast for the weekend. March is going to come in as a lion for us. Here's to the moisture at least!
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