Although the sweltering heat continues, water usage in and around Lawrence has dropped from this week's record amounts, keeping mandatory water restrictions at bay.
High-volume water users such as Kansas University and Eagle Bend Golf Course were urged Monday to cut back. Since Tuesday, officials said, the amount of water pumped through the system has dropped noticeably.
"They're responding very well and we appreciate their efforts," said Gayle Martin, communications coordinator for the city of Lawrence.
Lawrence set a record for water pumped on Monday with 25.1 million gallons. However, the amount decreased Tuesday to 24.5 million. Although Wednesday's amounts weren't available until this morning, Martin said, the numbers looked to be decreasing, judging by peak time usage.
Martin warned that the threat of mandatory water restrictions still looms. City officials are watching water usage daily and looking for relief from the dry, hot weather to determine what steps the city may have to take.
In the meantime, officials continue to urge residents to contribute to water conservation by limiting their lawn irrigation, car washing and general household usage.
For now, water conservation for citizens and high-volume water users is voluntary. Mandatory water restrictions would keep residents from watering lawns, filling swimming pools, running fountains and more.
"We're not ready to do this, but if the water issue stays with us, then we'll probably have to," said Larry Paine, Baldwin city administrator, who is also urging Baldwin users to conserve water.
The efforts to conserve water stretch to five rural water districts as well as Baldwin, whose water is treated by Lawrence.