City considers major water conservation programs (VIDEO)

water_restrictions-400x300By BECKY KISER
Hays Post

The city of Hays has been in a Water Watch since 2012. Water customers are asked to voluntarily conserve water inside and outside their homes and businesses.

Jason Riegel was hired by the city approximately three months ago as its first water conservation specialist.

Hays and much of western Kansas is in its third consecutive year of drought. The city is considering two changes to better conserve water supplies into the future, including the amount of irrigated landscape allowed on new developments and a green plumbing code.

Riegel explained:

Hays has two main water supplies, the Smoky Hill River and Big Creek. A large well relocation project has been completed on the Smoky Hill River aquifer that gives the city more in-ground storage. According to Riegel, the storage is now being used because the Smoky Hill River has been dry for two and half years.

The releases of water from Cedar Bluff Reservoir in Trego County early last year refilled the Smoky Hill aquifer.  For now, the city of Hays is not entitled to another release.

  • backhoe

    How about following Ellis and SHUT DOWN THE OUTSIDE WATERING!!!!!! Your only about two years behind the times. Feel no pity for a City that allows waste then wants help paying 100 million dollar project to supply water for the region and sell to other communities. Don’t think so!

    • Be sensible vs making new laws

      I really watch how much water I use and try to be mindful of our valuable water supply. I enjoy having a small garden and some flowers around the house. I don’t over water, I use mulch, I water in the evening before dark, and I only water enough to keep them alive and healthy. A barren landscape of dirt and rocks, in my opinion, might actually be worse for water conservation than a yard with living grass. My yard is mostly buffalo and I only water it on rare occasions if needed. I’m not talking irrigated fescue using hundreds of gallons of water. Just a living yard that I probably water by hand a few times in the summer to keep it alive.

      • Guest

        Thank you for being sensible about your water use. My family also has been mindful of our water supply. We put in a Buffalo grass and have nothing but zeriscape landscaping and a few herbs. In addition, we capture rainwater runoff from our downspouts in large barrels and use only that to water our landscaping and herbs. It works great! Last summer, we did not have to water our yard one single time and the grass remained alive and fairly green. While we have a working well on our property, we also did not have to use it or any City water all summer to keep our landscaping and herbs alive. It just takes a little planning, common sense and effort to make a positive impact. Our yard is definitely not barren. We have many varieties of sedum, daisies, ornamental grasses, wildflowers and both butterfly and bee attracting plants and flowers that are colorful, hearty and drought-resistant. People just have to get out of the mindset that they can’t have a decent yard without watering several times a week. It’s absurd.

    • jan

      does anyone know if ellis allows individuals to bring water into town from outside the city boundaries for their outside watering needs. would gardens be allowed in ellis if individuals could bring water in barrels from outside the city limits? just curious.

      • backhoe

        As of right now yes people can bring water in from outside town.

        • jan

          i wonder if hays shuts down outside watering like ellis if they will allow water to be brought in from outside city limits?

      • guest1

        If you do bring in water from elsewhere, you do still have to follow the water conservation rules of acceptable time to water (I don’t remember the times off the top of my head)

  • jepson

    if i was the city i would say here’s the deal. until we get plentiful return rainfalls the only outside watering that can be done is from rain barrels. period. no car washing. no lawn watering. no watering gardens unless it comes from rain barrels. first offense a warning. 2nd strike and big penalty. set up a report water phone line. that should get neighbors watching neighbors.

    • Veggie gardener

      Wow. Maybe you should just rename Hays ‘Russia’ then.

      • jepson

        so in other words everybody else can stop and conserve outside watering except us “veggie gardeners”. not in my back yard attitude. is that it? my point is this. if you want to save water stop this outside watering nonsense until the rains return. no exceptions!

        • Veggie gardener

          You make no sense. So it angers you such that I water a few tomato plants in my garden, but it’s perfectly ok for you to run to the store to buy tomatoes? Your store bought tomatoes were grown somewhere you know. It’s not like the discount store pushed a button on a machine and 200 tomatoes appeared.

          • Guest

            What does that even have to do with anything @Veggie gardener? It’s not the tomatoes jepson has an issue with. It’s the City water use necessary to grow those tomatoes if you aren’t somehow capturing rainwater runoff. Grow all the tomatoes you want, but don’t waste my City water doing so. Where the ones in the store were grown is not my issue to deal with. There are many, many places in the US capable of growing tomatoes that don’t have water restrictions or water supply issues.

          • jepson

            veggie. you are not getting my point in this debate. i love a garden as much as you do. but the issue here is city water usage. the “only” way you stop wasting water is start by making one rule and make it stick for everybody. if we let you water a couple of tomato plants than why not let somebody else water a couple bushes. it never ends. no outside watering should mean just that. no outside watering. period. unless you trap it in rain barrels. now whether or not the city gods will let you transport water from outside the city limits to your garden i guess is another argument.

  • Buy bottled H20

    Why are we continually talking about building new motels, family homes, Convention Centers, housing more students, sports parks, pavilions, restaurants, & manufacturing plants. All will just add to our water shortage. Hays doesn’t have the resources to grow anymore. The best way to get residents to conserve water is raise the rates. People can barely afford the cost of living here now and will leave by droves, thereby decreasing water usage.

    • bunter

      but if you go ahead and raise the rates that may be helpful. but some guy that has a zillion dollars that wants a lush lawn will say so what?

    • WeCantAffordGrass

      Well said. Triple the current rate for anything above the amount of water needed by an average family of 4 to bathe, do laundry, and cook. City also needs to stop issuing permits for swimming pools, and the inflatable pools sold by Walmart, etc. need to be banned as well.

      • executive

        now we’re talkin! crack that whip toby and ban all outside watering including the perspiration off my back. no perspiring either. got that. none. i would also hire armed men to patrol the city looking for violators. if someone even dears put a drop of water on a plant outside then shoot em! its gonna pit neighbor against neighbor folks.

  • packer

    that does it. i’m packin up and moving to Hawaii’s Mount Waialeale . it averages more than 450 inches of rain each year.