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Drought Management Guidelines

Water Shortage Levels and Triggers: A key component of water shortage response is the establishment of trigger levels for taking specific actions oriented at reducing system demands in order to conserve available resources. Citizens anticipates using the following trigger levels as guides for implementation of the corresponding demand management actions. Implementation of specific response actions will be based on review of all factors available at the time. Consecutive system wholesale customers will be notified of each tiered response action and requested to implement similar actions in their service territory.

No Shortage

Normal demand; continued general wise-water use messaging per Conservation Plan.

Tier 1 - Water Shortage Watch Advisory

Voluntary Reductions. Communication and media requests for voluntary reduction in water use; particularly to limit discretionary use including reduction in lawn watering to no more than once per week, consistent with wise-water use messaging.

Triggers:

  • Water supply or delivery limitation resulting in expectation that continuing demand increases will limit ability to maintain distribution pressures at levels in to provide adequate fire protection and public safety.
  • White River Stream flow at Noblesville less than 10th percentile flow for day of year and less than 200 cfs
  • Groundwater levels approaching critical operating levels of some water production wells, resulting in limited withdrawal capacities to conserve resource.
  • US Drought Monitor (sponsored by NOAA, USDA and others) indicates that Central Indiana is in a severe drought.

Tier 2 - Water Shortage Alert Advisory

Voluntary Restrictions. Communication and media requests for customers to take voluntarily steps to reduce peak demand, including halting outdoor lawn watering for a specific period of time.

Triggers:

  • Water supply or delivery limitation resulting in inability to maintain distribution pressures at levels in to provide adequate fire protection and public safety.
  • White River Stream flow at Noblesville less than 5th percentile flow for day of year and less than 150 cfs
  • Groundwater levels approaching critical operating levels of some water production wells, resulting in limited withdrawal capacities to conserve resource.
  • US Drought monitor indicates that Central Indiana is in a severe drought.

Tier 3 - Water Shortage Warning

Mandatory restrictions via Water Conservation Ordinance. Bans lawn irrigation, washing cars in driveways and filling swimming pools. Must be acknowledged by Mayor's office to trigger enforcement through the City's Department of Code Enforcement.

Triggers:

  • Volume of storage in Morse Reservoir or Geist Reservoir declines to 50% of total capacity or storage levels are below design drawdown curves.
  • Groundwater levels below critical operating levels of some water production wells, resulting in restricted withdrawal capacities.
  • Other water supply warning condition that limits ability to supply demand that jeopardizes public safety or fire protection

Tier 4 - Water Shortage Emergency

Mandatory restrictions via Water Conservation Ordinance. Bans all outdoor water use with exception to watering of vegetable gardens using a bucket or pail. Must be acknowledged by Mayor's office to trigger enforcement. Implement Emergency Plan to arrange for alternative supplies as necessary.

Triggers:

  • Volume of storage in Morse Reservoir or Geist Reservoir declines to 25% of total capacity or storage levels are below design drawdown curves.
  • Groundwater levels below critical operating levels of some water production wells, resulting in restricted withdrawal capacities.
  • Other water supply warning condition that limits ability to supply demand that jeopardizes public safety or fire protection