The City of Bloomington Water Department (“City”) is reporting that U.S. Drought Monitor continues to rate McLean County as being in a moderate drought and has been at least at that drought level since September of this year.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Although the 2013 drought started later in the year than the 2012 drought, the City’s two water reservoirs have slowly declined over the last several months. In 2012, The City of Bloomington adopted a Water Emergency Response Ordinance which outlined specific actions to be taken at certain deficits in combined reservoir levels occurring at particular times of the year. Currently, the City is at the first drought trigger action level, which was reached in early December 2013. The level of a combined deficit in the two reservoirs, the Evergreen Lake Reservoir and Lake Bloomington Reservoir is currently at 8.7 feet below the spillway levels. The level has occurred in a month defined in the Ordinance as non-critical. A non-critical month is one in which water usage is much lower than critical months. Generally, the warm weather months when water usage is at its peak are critical months and colder months are non-critical months.
City of Bloomington City Manager David A. Hales, in consultation with the Water Director Craig M. Cummings, has noted that the moderate drought action level has been reached and a moderate drought level water emergency declaration has been made. The voluntary water conservation efforts outlined in the moderate drought phase are therefore in effect. These actions are voluntary efforts with a goal of an overall reduction of 5% in water consumption and are listed as follows:
- Limit the time faucets are running such as when brushing teeth;
- Fix any leaks that might be throughout your home. A simple dripping faucet at 1 drip every 6 seconds can waste almost a gallon of water per day;
- Washing clothes or dishes with only full loads in the respective washer;
- Limiting the length of showers.
City of Bloomington Water Director Craig M. Cummings stated “We have been monitoring the precipitation deficit throughout the fall and although this time of year it is more difficult to conserve water since large water consumption activities such as lawn watering are not taking place, we are requesting customers to do whatever they can to conserve water.”
Cummings continued “Although the City has almost two full years’ worth of water stored in its reservoirs, the Water Emergency Response Ordinance was designed to address declining water reservoir levels at the early stages and make citizens aware of the situation.”
For more information about water conservation efforts, visit the City of Bloomington Water Department Water Supply Plan page or call us at (309) 434-2426.
The City of Bloomington Water Department serves more than 100,000 McLean County residents in the City of Bloomington, around Lake Bloomington, the Village of Hudson, the Village of Towanda, Bloomington Township Public Water District West Area and the Bloomington Township Public Water District Crestwicke area, as well as surrounding unincorporated areas.