That’s how Ellis Mayor Dave McDaniel describes the city council’s decision Wednesday to move to Stage 3 of the town’s Water Conservation Plan.
For the first time, all outdoor watering is banned.
“Right now our wells are low, but stabilizing,” explains McDaniel. “But summer will soon be here and that’s when our water usage is highest.”
According to McDaniel, the Kansas Water Office has issued a “Red Alert” for Ellis. It’s a warning that the town’s water supply, from a “finger” off the Ogallala Aquifer, has a good potential to dry up.
“We’ll be doing a big water conservation effort,” he says. “K-State Watershed Specialist Stacie Minson will be here and we’re looking into low-flow shower heads and toilets. People need to understand why we’ve taken this drastic action. We’re going to have to conserve water even more than we already are.”
Private well owners are not affected by the outdoor watering ban, yet. “They still draw water from the same sources and that will cause it to deplete even more,” McDaniel warns.
McDaniel says the city council will meet again Monday to hear concerns from residents and do some “tweaking” to the plan.
The outdoor watering ban is effective after publication in the Ellis newspaper next week.
(Photos courtesy James Miller)