Mayor Jeff Longwell asked residents to continue supporting water conservation efforts during his regular news conference on Thursday at City Hall, 455 N. Main.
“While our area has been blessed with recent rainfall, I want to stress the importance of continued water conservation efforts,” Longwell said. “As you recall, it wasn’t that long ago when we were dealing with major drought conditions, and questions remain about a dependable future water source.”
Heavy rainfall over the last few weeks has helped the city’s water supply, with Cheney Lake - one of the City's two primary water sources - gaining more than 5.5 billion gallons since the beginning of the month. However, conserving water remains important to the community and is part of a long-term strategy to meet future demand. Steps taken to minimize water usage today, mean lower costs in the future, because conservation reduces the amount of water that would need to be added when a new water supply is constructed. Water conservation also saves money for our utility customers.
“Frequent rainfall gives us all an easy way to conserve water and save money,” Longwell said. “Just by turning off sprinklers, we can let nature water our lawns and gardens without having to use any of the drinking water supply. There is no real need for homeowners to run their sprinkler systems at this time.”
Another way to conserve water is to participate in the water rebate program that the City is currently offering. Customers are eligible for up to $500 in rebates for water-efficient devices and appliances. The rebate program will continue until funding is exhausted. Currently, there is a little more than $65,000 available.
Longwell said City government is also doing its part to reduce water usage. A conservation plan for operations includes using what is called “gray water” to irrigate trees and minimizing other outdoor watering. Gray water is the relatively clean water from sinks, showers, washing machines or dish washers.
Also, two conservation studies will be underway later this year to determine how best to encourage outdoor water conservation and water recycling in industrial processes.
By visiting www.SaveWichitaWater.com, residents can learn more about the City's conservation efforts, find recommendations for conserving water, and find information about the rebate program.