Reader comments

On Should residents or businesses who use too much water be fined?


canyon_wren 5 years, 1 month ago

In our community, in Utah, there is a higher charge for extra water usage beyond a basic level--that is perfectly reasonable and obviously worth it to some users who need more. I suppose if the amount of City water available is so limited that such a practice is not going to solve the problem, then a fine might be in order; otherwise, it sounds too punitive.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Should be a way of charging for extra usage if the current plan isn't adequate. Just assessing and charging is better than a fine. I can see fining for wasting water and causing someone else to have to do without. People take water for granted and those days are limited.

pizzapete 5 years, 1 month ago

Isn't the city providing the water and landscaping for the recreation center free of charge to Fritzel and the University? How much is that going to cost us?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 1 month ago

"How could I have known?" We are in a position now to avert that future, but, will we?

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 5 years ago

According to the article, 310% over their average monthly winter bill. There's a reason for this:

"Wichita officials will consider imposing fines of $1,000 per month on residents and businesses that use too much water as part of a short-term plan to respond to dwindling water supplies.

The water conservation plan was unveiled Wednesday by city officials seeking to remedy issues with the drought-plagued Cheney Reservoir, which supplies 64 percent of Wichita’s water. The reservoir is forecast to dry up in mid-2015, The Wichita Eagle reported."

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

Residents shouldn't be fined, because if the toilet flapper sticks open, and the resident doesn't notice, they could have a high water bill that month already. No need to add insult to injury with a fine. The city is supposed to offer city water as a service to the public, not in a dictatorial manor by threatening fines for water usage. Wonder why they are asking the question?

kernal 5 years, 1 month ago

Read the story about the proposal for water usage in Wichita.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 5 years ago

This is in reference to the article about Wichita's water problem....the link is above. Read it.

kernal 5 years, 1 month ago

Too much for one household may not be enough for another household. Say you have a household of two people, no swimming pool, with xero landscaping and an urban vergetable garden and maybe a couple of fruit trees. Then you have a family of five with a swimming pool, lawn and flower gardens. Who gets charged more and where do we draw the line on what water can be used for?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 1 month ago

"The water conservation plan was unveiled Wednesday by city officials seeking to remedy issues with the drought-plagued Cheney Reservoir, which supplies 64 percent of Wichita’s water. The reservoir is forecast to dry up in mid-2015, The Wichita Eagle reported"

So, once that is gone, no amount of money can bring it back. This is not about the money, it is about the need to impress people with the need to conserve resources now.

George Lippencott 5 years, 1 month ago

a fine for overuse.must be tied to rationing. If we need to ration then a case needs to be made. Clearly there is a case in Wichita.

juma 5 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence needs a water usage program. For all you here in Larryville that think you are the intellectual center of Kansas you need to look at the Hays program. From around 1991 to 2000 Hays reduced water usage by 30% while the population grew 30%. Lawrence must implement sound practical water usage regulations. I am sick and tired of watching sprinklers spray water on to the street in the middle of the day. Banks are the worst offenders.

George Lippencott 5 years, 1 month ago

Why? Are we short of water? The recommendation on every other day sprinkling was predicated on processing water not availability of water.

deec 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes.Water is running out, hence the consideration of Wichita's fines program.

George Lippencott 5 years ago

Not very convincing. While a somewhat complex issues there is no shortage of water here. That does not mean w e should not be good stewards of that water but it does suggest we do not need to destroy our way of life.

Liberty275 5 years ago

No. people should be charged for water the same per gallon or whatever regardless if they use more or less. We planted our first garden this year and expect our water use to rise. Are they going to fine us because we want too learn to grow our own food?

Tomato 5 years ago

An outright fine is kind of shameful. It's not really a plan.

A real water-use plan would involve public education on how to reduce water usage; education on how best to conserve water in the garden; education about exactly how much water is needed to keep a lawn alive - not green - in the Summertime.

Then possibly a graduated system where charges per gallon rise with use - with the extra money used to subsidize water barrels for home gardens as well as community awareness about water conservation. It's not right to charge extra for water conservation and then not use the money to increase water conservation.

But to just wait until we're running out of water and then implement a fine on some arbitrary level of water usage is pretty terrible.

George Lippencott 5 years ago

Do you own a home or are you busy imposing impacts on other people who live differently. Why must some people have brown lawns in the summer with associated costs to replant in the fall. If we are short - fine. If not just charge for usage. Asking home owners to subsidize conservation by others may just be a step too far.

Tomato 5 years ago

I do own a home, actually. I even have an in-ground sprinkler system. I actually haven't imposed anything on anyone, I merely suggested that real water-use plan involves educating the public on how to reduce water usage.

I, in fact, never said that people should let their lawns die. I said that if the city wanted to reduce water usage, they'd have to teach them how to maintain a lawn with minimal water without killing it. Grass can be allowed to naturally go yellow and dormant, but even then it requires moderate watering. That's not the same thing as brown and dead. It's also not the same as keeping cool-season grass green by watering daily. There is no associated cost to replanting if you let your lawn go dormant the right way - because it doesn't die.

But see - you proved my point. People need to be told HOW to reduce their water usage. You can't just one day up and decide there's not enough water then slap them with a $1000 fine for keeping their lawn green. They didn't know better. If the city ultimately wants to conserve water, then it needs to implement a plan BEFORE it starts running low on water.

And if the city were to charge this extra money, then that money should be used for conserving water. The city shouldn't impose extra "conservation" charges on citizens and then use it to build a new police station or rec center. It should instead, be helping people like Liberty figure out how to have their garden without excessive water use.

I don't see a problem with graduated fees. If you want to make a choice to water your lawn daily to keep the grass green through August, then go for it. If you want a pool, put one in. These things are luxuries and luxuries cost extra. At least these kinds of measures would probably stop the city from ever getting desperate enough to slap you with a sudden fine.

But no worries - it won't happen. The city of Lawrence is not serious about water conservation. One day we will probably reach the same crisis point that Wichita is facing and they'll just fine you and raise your rates anyway. Until then - enjoy your green grass. I won't be over to sabotage your sprinkler system.

George Lippencott 5 years ago

There is a difference between water conservation - good and knee jerk water restrictions. I am not sure we know the difference

Different kinds of grasses respond differently to reduced water. Some go dormant and some die. Knowing how and calibrating a sprinkler system to address the difference across lawns that have sun and shade is a challenge. We have tried and still do not have the hang of it. One year we cut back too far and dormant became dead. Another year and turf was still growing when we did not want it to do so

That leads to the real problem. when we bought our home and years before that when the sprinkler system was laid there were no restrictions and the cost of water was reasonable. The city experimented with graduated rates and the price went sky high. Now we just have higher rates to use the water fund to deal with expected growth. The system is not calibrated for the new reality. Changing it is quite costly

Now that we want to enforce conservation we overlook real differences. If you live in parts of Lawrence with a fair number of trees the lawn is naturally shaded and requires less water. If you live in parts where the land was clear cut for the new homes you are fighting full Kansas summer sun to maintain the lawn.

I have real problems with retrospective punishment of people who made good choices only to have the government impose what amounts to sanctions because some elements of public sentiment changed or too much growth has been allowed.

Set a fair and consistent rate and bill me. The normal cost alone will drive me to conserve. The imposition of politically correct sanctions is something I do not need

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