The City of Independence could move to the next level of their Water Watch.
The city is reviewing planned measures to address the region's severe drought conditions. City Engineer John Garris says as the drought in the area persists a next-level declaration, which is a Water Warning, will be issued if the reservoir’s water level decreases to five feet below normal. He says while some rainfall is in the immediate forecast and cooler temperatures will slow water evaporation, it is possible that they will reach the Water Warning stage of the plan within a week or less.
The goal would be to achieve a 10 percent reduction in water usage. If the Water Warning is necessary, the Independence City Commission will be asked to approve an updated city ordinance outlining the conservation guidelines and setting parameters for fines and penalties.
In response to this stage, the City will take the following actions:
1. Provide weekly news releases to local media describing present conditions and any changes to the water supply.
2. Provide weekly summaries of temperature, precipitation, water levels and storage.
3. Provide water conservation articles and information to local news media outlets.
4. Include water-saving tips in billing statements to utility customers.
5. Shut down fountains, discontinue washing of City vehicles and halt watering of City grounds or properties.
Residents and all customers using City water will be required to adhere to the following measures:
1. Residents with odd-numbered addresses will water only on odd-numbered days; even-numbered addresses will water only on even-numbered days.
2. Outdoor water use, including lawn watering and car washing, shall occur only before 10 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
3. Outdoor watering is restricted to hand-held hoses or buckets only.
4. Golf course watering will be limited to tees and greens, following the above restrictions.
5. Refilling swimming pools is limited to one day a week, after sunset.
6. Excess water charges for consumption above winter levels will be considered.
7. Wasting of water will be prohibited, via ordinance with potential penalties enforced.