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.
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.