We all have noticed that the State of Kansas has had less moisture this year than past years. We all have to realize the value of water and keeping it sustainable and that in times like these of Severe Drought, Extreme Drought, and Exceptional Drought, which Rush County is in all three levels across the county. Rush County, more specifically City of Otis wells, is where we get the water for our district. The spectrum that RRWD#3 works off of for the sustainability of water is, Residential consumption, livestock consumption, and lastly agriculture/vegetation consumption. If we look at the stages of what RRWD#3 would expect to happen if we started imposing restriction on our customers would work in reverse order. First, we would require our customers to halt the usage of water for any recreational use. Then the second step would be halting the use of agriculture/vegetation consumption and then if further restrictions are needed, continue up the list to restrict the use of livestock and monitor residential use.
All these stages are preventable with just a little extra care. Some examples that we have already observed are easy fixes. One situation is for livestock owners to not do "set it and forget it" approach to stock tank floats. Many times, these floats can work themselves out of the settings they are on and begin to overflow the tanks. So, we need to try and check these floats regularly, ideally every day. Along with the floats sometimes livestock owners will forget that they have left the hydrants on at a slow fill. However, even with a slow flow the tank will overfill and waste water. Let us all figure out ways to remind ourselves to go back and turn those hydrants off. Set alarms on our phones, rubber bands on our wrists, or a ripped t-shirt band on the rearview mirror. We all have done it, even myself, while watering gardens or trees. We all just need to be more aware of what we are wasting. Water is the bloodline of life, when it is gone, it is gone.
So, if you can, take some time and explore our website and visit some of our links to look at helping ways to conserve where we can and look at some of the links of the explanation and data of our current drought status.