People in Hull, Iowa are learning to live under a long-term emergency restriction. For the last month, severe shortages have restricted non-essential water use.
And after all efforts to bring water to the community have failed, city officials don't know when the emergency restriction will be lifted.
Dennis and Lynn Koele haven't turned on their sprinklers since the emergency restriction started in June.
"We like to water the lawn because we like it nice and green. We've been known to put the sprinkler on and let the grandkids run under it. We're not doing any of that," Lynn said.
Since the restriction, homeowners are thinking twice about how to use the precious resource.
"I have plants and I use the water out of my dehumidifiers in my basement for a time and I still do that," Karen Wesselink said.
City Administrator Les Van Roekel says homeowners are using every available drop.
"It's a serious matter. There are days that we're right at the amount of water that we're allotted each day," Van Roekel said.
In fact, just one house fire or water main break could run taps dry, so the city is strictly enforcing the restriction.
"Our wastewater operator has gone out in the middle of the night to try to find people. That is how serious the situation is, that we've got guys going out at 2 in the morning to catch people," Van Roekel said.
To help with the water shortage, the city of Hull has partnered with Sioux Center to build an emergency well. However, the well has failed five bacteria tests over the last several weeks. City officials don't know when it will become operational.
Hull is expected to be hooked up to Lewis and Clark Regional water system by this year, but funding in Washington D.C. has halted its progress.
Last Wednesday night, members of the Hull community came together for a multi-denominational prayer service asking for more moisture.