An Iowa Rural Water Association is asking its customers to begin conserving water, on a voluntary basis. Even though it's not mandatory, they are asking users to refrain from using water for a number of things, many of which we take for granted.

When I came across the post asking customers to begin lowering water usage, I assumed the area was in the part of Iowa dealing with the worst drought. Surprisingly, that's not the case.

Drought Monitor
Drought Monitor

As you can see above, portions of Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Monroe, Van Buren, Wapello, and Wayne counties in south-central and southeast Iowa are under an Extreme Drought. The same goes for Monona and Woodbury counties in extreme west central Iowa.

However, of the 11 counties mentioned above, only a portion of Lucas County is within the district covered by the association asking for a reduction in water usage.

In an alert posted on its website today, the Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) says voluntary water conservation is needed "Due to various stages of drought & treatment plant capacity issues throughout our system." They are asking all of their customers to cut water usage.

While stating it is voluntary, SIRWA listed a series of measures customers should take to alleviate the problem. The items (below) make it abundantly clear how serious the situation must be.

  • Reduce outdoor watering of all types between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M.
  • Car washing is highly discouraged, except at commercial establishments that provide that service.
  • No water shall be used to fill private swimming pools, children's wading pools, reflecting pools or any other outdoor pool or pond.
  • No water shall be used to wash streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or building exteriors.
  • No water shall be used for nonessential cleaning of commercial and industrial equipment, machinery, and interior spaces.
  • Water shall be served at restaurants only upon request of the customer.
  • Voluntary reduction of water uses of all types is encouraged.

While Southern Iowa Rural Water Association doesn't indicate how long the need for water conservation will be in effect, customers can sign up for alerts here or call the SIRWA office at (641) 782-5744 for more details.

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