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Water Restrictions Not Going Away Soon

September 12, 2012, 6:15 AM by Austin Hoffman

Water Restrictions Not Going Away Soon

It's been a difficult summer to grow just about anything. Many crops are now dried out and shriveled up, lawns are burned and water levels are very low.

Sioux Falls homeowner Roger Raile has been working to keep his plants and grass green as much as he can. And while it's not as easy only being able to water once a week, he's happy to do what he can.

"Water to me is a vital part of this country and the world.  It's something you just can't do without. So it's quite important that you really watch that you have water always on hand and enough of it or you could be in a lot of trouble," Raile said.

And trouble is what the city of Sioux Falls is trying to keep out of. When the Big Sioux River dipped below 50 cubic feet per second, Stage Two watering restrictions went into effect. The city now needs some help from Mother Nature to turn things around.

"If we get above 50 at Dell Rapids, our monitor, above 50 cubic feet for second, we'd want to see that that's going to be a sustainable level for a period of time. The last thing we would want to do is turning Stage One and Stage Two on and off based on maybe a week where were above 50 or something like that. We want to make sure that its going to be sustainable," Trent Lubbers with Sioux Falls Public Works said.

Lubbers says they see people who are not complying with the restrictions and those violators will soon get a notice on their door.

"We're trying to maintain water levels for those essential uses and a long term sustainable supply if this drought continues to persist," Lubbers said.

City officials also say they don't necessarily need rain in Sioux Falls to make a difference in river levels.  Anything upstream in the watershed will help recharge the Big Sioux River.

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