Des Moines Water Works Keeps a Close Eye on Drought Conditions and Recommends Customers Use Water Wisely

Des Moines Water Works is notifying customers that dry conditions on the Raccoon River coupled with peak summer demands cause strain on water systems across the metro this summer.

Customer water use is up 30 percent in May compared to similar time periods in past years. At the same time, the Raccoon River has much less water flowing in it—about 10 times less. The median flow is 4,000 cubic feet per second, and currently, the river is flowing at 400 cubic feet per second.

Because of possible continued drought conditions on the Raccoon River and above-average demand in May, Des Moines Water Works is proactively asking customers to begin practicing wise water usage. This includes:

  • Relying on rain when possible to water lawns and outdoor vegetation
  • Turning off water while you brush your teeth, shave or wash dishes; ensuring the dishwasher is full before running; setting your washing machine to the appropriate load size; and replacing your shower head with a low-flow fixture
  • Ensuring outdoor garden hoses and spigots do not have leaks, and water is not left running when not in immediate use
  • If you decide to irrigate your lawn, ensure your irrigation system is operating efficiently
  • Not irrigating your lawn on Mondays
  • Not irrigating during the hottest part of the day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Even numbered addresses (Ex: 120 Main Street) should water on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Odd numbered addresses (Ex: 123 Main Street) should water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Irrigation is the biggest contributor to peak summertime water demand, which is why DMWW asks customers to follow an irrigation schedule and water responsibly during these dry conditions.

The drought conditions and emphasis on wise water usage are not unique to Des Moines. Cities and counties across the United States are experiencing severe drought and asking customers to practice wise water use.

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