DES MOINES, Iowa (July 24, 2012) – Des Moines Water Works, with cooperation from metro suburbs, have implemented stage 1 of a water conservation plan. The objective of stage 1 of the conservation plan is to reduce water usage by 10 percent. The primary focus in achieving reduced usage is in the amount of water being used to irrigate turf and lawns.
Des Moines Water Works pumped a record 95.64 million gallons of water on Monday. The previous record of 92 million gallons was set in June 2006. In addition to record pumpage which is stressing some area water facilities with lower pressure, water quality of source waters is creating treatment issues.
“We are asking resident and business customers throughout the metro area, including our suburban communities, to voluntarily cease irrigation and let their lawns go dormant,” said Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “Municipal golf courses have been asked to reduce their irrigation water.”
If there is some compelling reason an owner cannot shut down their irrigation system, it is requested that they lower the volume of water used by reducing the amount of time the system runs, and do so on odd/even days. For example, if your address ends in 1, 3, 5, etc., lawn watering is acceptable on odd days of the month and vice-versa for even addresses.
Watering of gardens and flower beds may continue under the stage 1 of the conservation plan, but reduced levels are requested.
Other “wise water use” measures that make good sense in these hot dry times which are outlined in the plan are:
- Wash dishes and laundry when you have full loads
- Don’t leave water running if you wash a car at home
- Don’t use water to hose down sidewalks and driveways, use a broom instead
- Consider taking shorter showers
- Don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving
“These wise water use measures make good sense to do year-round, but the primary factor that will lower water demand is reduced lawn irrigation,” said Beavers.
There are some decorative lawn and turf areas around the metro area that are not addressed under stage 1, but just like golf courses, it is requested that those systems be operated and managed to reduce water use where possible.
Stage 1 will stay in effect until the weather pattern changes so that water demand drops below 80 million gallons of use daily. Further stages of the conservation plan will be considered if the drought persists such that a water shortage is forecast. Further stages of the plan would call for a 30 percent usage reduction by residential customers and 10 percent by business and industry.
“We are asking for the public’s assistance in achieving this 10% voluntary reduction, which will help keep our water tanks full and water pressures elevated,” said Beavers.