‘Water Shortage Plan’ activated, metro cities ask residents to cut back on watering lawns


DES MOINES, IOWA — Another week without significant rain has pushed Central Iowa further into drought conditions. Now Des Moines Water Works is implementing its ‘Water Shortage Plan’, beginning with a request for homeowners to water their lawns less. The city’s of West Des Moines and Norwalk as well as the Xenia Rural Water District are asking customers to follow the same plan as well.

DMWW says it is currently operating at 90-percent demand with residents watering their lawns and gardens more and filling up swimming pools with temperatures topping 90 degrees and no moisture in the forecast. DMWW is now asking residents to cut back on their lawn watering by 25% until drought conditions subside.

“This remains a very fluid situation that changes daily depending upon river levels and customer demand,” Water Works CEO Ted Corrigan said in a news release on Monday, “We have taken proactive steps to ensure we have enough water for customers, but the Raccoon River is low enough that you can walk across it. Now, we are asking our customers to do their part and use water wisely.”

The Water Shortage Plan is a four-stage process that DMWW uses to make sure demand doesn’t outpace supply during drought:

  • Stage One – voluntary 25% reduction in turf irrigation
  • Stage Two – voluntary 50% reduction in outdoor water use
  • Stage Three – turf irrigation prohibited
  • Stage Four – water rationing begins

More than half of the state of Iowa is now in Moderate Drought, according to the USDA.

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