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City passes updates to water conservation/drought response plan

By NICK BUDD
Hays Post

The Hays City Commission on Thursday passed a series of updates to the city’s water conservation/drought response plan. The updates require private wells to comply with regulations in the water warning and emergency stages, prevents the city from issuing any new seeded/sodded lawn permits during a warning stage, incorporates a second conservation tier rate in warning and emergency stages, and gives the city commission additional authority over water rates.

water conservation

According to Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty, each time the city declares a water warning or emergency, the commission can petition to order private wells within the city limits of Hays to comply with the regulations outlined in the drought response plan, but the regulations are flexible.

“Once the city goes off of either of those stages, the ability to require private well compliance goes away,” he said. “If we are in a drought, the chief engineer can grant us the ability to require compliance, and then it might be 15 years before you require compliance again. Each time, (the city) would have to repetition to go back into the compliance stage”

The new regulations on lawn permits update regulations adopted last year.

“The city staff used to issue newly seeded permits to people that wanted to put bluegrass in the middle of August or July, and we don’t do that anymore,.” Dougherty said. “That being said, If we are in a warning stage it’s probably not a good idea to establish buffalo or Bermuda grasses in the middle of summer, because that’s when you need to establish those grasses, so that’s why we are recommending not issuing those permits.”

Dougherty also noted that power to increase rates during a water emergency were put in to try to decrease water usage during an emergency.

The motions passed through the commission unanimously.

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  • leftwich

    sounds great. next thing to be mentioned is how the city is going to raise money to off set loss of water revenue due to everybody conserving water.

    • Conserve or not to conserve

      EXACTLY. As I recall, that’s what they did about 10 years ago. Real slap in the face.

      • jupiterjohn

        the city will always come out the winner. conserve water? great! loss of revenue? no big deal. raise rates.

  • Kathy

    So what does this mean for private swimming pool owners?

    • responsible

      you mean like the scene from Christmas vacation where Chevy Chase looks out the window dreaming of his new backyard pool. Mele Kalikimaka baby. pool owners ain’t worried about no water shortage! if you can afford a back yard pool you’ll find the water.

    • bobo

      how about soccer fields and hays larks baseball outfield??? how about car washes. city should have a water waste hot line. if you see water running down the curb or being wasted call the hot line. maybe set up a website where you can snap a picture using cell phone and post it. get the wasters on camera and online.

      • Guest

        You should set up an Ellis County Water Wasters Facebook Page similar to the Ellis County Fails page.

    • Joker

      Pool? you must be joking

  • h20chief

    I assume I can water my lawn any time the city is watering the sports complex / Ft. Hays County Club / parks and Smokey Hill County Club? I plan to follow what the city follows. All for one, one for all! I will hereby designate my yard a sports park / private golf course and have the same watering hours as city and
    Smokey Hill CC.
    May have to call in water violations to Hays PD for SMCC, FHCC, Sports Park if outside of my hours of watering operations.

  • frt

    The city has planted and watered more cool season grass in past years at sports complex, fh golf, and city parks than all the rest of the city. Let all that die off and replace with buffalo…..city should lead by example