The City of Abilene ended its Water Warning but city water customers are encouraged to continue to conserve water.
“Water that is used in Abilene today will not be available for the next drought,” said City Manager David Dillner.
“While the next drought may be years from now, it is important to build up sufficient reserves that will enable to the City to best prepared to respond,” said Mayor John Ray. “Everyone’s cooperation has been essential to recharging the City’s groundwater supplies. This community effort has been greatly appreciated.”
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 45.7 percent of Kansas has normal conditions. Three months ago, only 2.5 percent of Kansas had normal conditions.
Per Section 7-903 of the City Code, outside watering is still prohibited between the hours of 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. until Sept. 15. Residents with private wells are also encouraged to comply with these watering restrictions.
Since July 9, 2012, the City of Abilene has been in an elevated water situation. Prior to the recent Water Warning, the City had been in a declared Water Emergency for 91 days and a Water Warning for 287 days. The City spent the last 414 days in either a declared Water Warning or Emergency.
The city is in the preliminary stages of developing a new well site for the public water supply. Preliminary engineering is underway with the expectation that the new well site will be operational by early Spring 2014.
“The new well site is promising for the future of Abilene’s water supply,” Ray said. “Exploration for new well sites has proven difficult, but the efforts will soon pay dividends and provide Abilene with improved resiliency during droughts.”
In addition, the City will continue to explore long-term solutions that will better prepare Abilene for future droughts.
Conservation will be an ongoing theme for the city of Abilene, Dillner said. While the water situation has subsided, the conditions that brought it about will most assuredly return in the future. The City encourages its water customers to continue to practice water conservation, which will be critical if Abilene is to have sufficient resources to support a growing population.
More information about the water situation may be found online at: www.abilenecityhall.com/water. Questions about the City’s water situation may be directed Dillner at 785-263-2550.