U.S. Water News Online
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Water levels on the Big Sioux River
are so low that officials in Sioux Falls have cut lawn watering to
just one day a week.
Homeowners will be allowed to water on a specific day, determined
by the last digit of their address.
``We haven't seen watering restrictions to this level in 25
years,'' said Kevin Smith, public works manager for the city.
Smith said officials haven't estimated how much water could be
saved with the new restrictions, which have taken effect.
The North Cliff Avenue gauging station shows the depth of the Big
Sioux River is 50 feet and the river is moving at 39 cubic feet per
``That's not much,'' said Jeff Chapman, meteorologist for the
National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. The average flow of the Big
Sioux River is more than 400 cubic feet per second.
The precipitation in the Sioux Falls area so far this year is
14.49 inches, almost 4 inches below normal.
If the new restrictions don't work, the next step will be to ban
all outdoor water use.
The river ran dry for 270 consecutive days, in August of 1976.
``The key is customer participation,'' Smith said. ``We're
concerned about the future water supply.''
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