Auburn Water Works Board Declares Stage One Drought, Asks Residents to Voluntarily Restrict Water Use

The Auburn Water Works board has declared a Stage One Drought in the area.

This means that they are asking residents to voluntarily restrict their water usage.

They tell us weather, lake levels and current demand all play a factor in declaring a Stage One Drought.

“Just like last year, mother nature hasn’t been kind to us and we are falling behind on rain fall,” said Auburn’s Water Resource Management Director, Eric Carson.

7 inches in fact behind where we are supposed to be.

Another factor is the construction of a new spillway at Lake Ogletree, Auburn’s main source of water for their citizens.

“The lake has been artificially drawn down. So, in order to facilitate construction, we had to manage lake levels at a little bit lower level than normal. So, less water in the lake is less water stored for our system,” said Tim Johnson, Auburn’s Principal Utility Engineer.

When construction is finished at the end of the year, 50 million additional gallons of water will be added, though, to the system.

But, what this means for residents is voluntary water restriction.

“Be aware of whats going on. Don’t water streets, don’t pressure wash, take short showers, please help us out so we can get through this current drought and spillway project,” said Carson.

Water Resources Specialist Dr. Eve Brantley said the impact of a voluntary restriction gives us an opportunity to look at how we use water.

“I think what the city is encouraging folks to do is to make water that we have go longer. So, if we see ourselves going into dry spells it doesn’t become a concern quickly. We are able to stretch it out and make the best use of our water that we have,” said Dr. Brantley, Auburn University Associate Professor for Crop, Soil & Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Brantley adds that because we see in the Southeast reoccurring drought cycles,  a lot of research and extension resources are available to help people look at making the water we have go longer.

Auburn residents will not see any changes on their water bill unless we enter a Stage Two Drought, according to Carson.

Again, this is a voluntary restriction, so if you have any questions, call the Water Resource Management Department at
334-501-3060.

For Resources on how to conserve water visit:

Alabama Smart Yards (iPhone app) and online guide:

 

 

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