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Drought Alert 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.

Adobe PDF Drought Management Plan

No Shortage

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

Tier 1 - Water Shortage Watch

Goal: 5% reduction in water demand.

External Actions: 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 two days per week, consistent with wise-water use messaging.

Internal Actions: Formation of Water Shortage Response Team for internal communications and coordination. Evaluation of status of capital and maintenance projects that may influence water supply availability and evaluate possibilities to expedite. Evaluation of operational factors and implementation of any that could preserve water supplies.

Triggers:

  • Water supply or delivery limitation resulting in expectation that continuing demand increases will limit ability to maintain distribution pressures at levels required 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. (Figure 4-2 of Drought Management Plan)
  • Volume of storage in Morse or Geist reservoir declines to below the design drawdown curve for the date but above 75% above total design drawdown capacity. (Figures 4-4 and 4-5 of Drought Management Plan)
  • Groundwater levels approaching critical operating levels of some water production wells, resulting in the need to limit withdrawal capacities of individual wells to conserve resources.
  • White River flow deficit forecast of greater than 2 BG.
  • US Drought Monitor (sponsored by NOAA, USDA and others) indicates that Central Indiana is in a moderate drought.

Tier 2 - Water Shortage Alert

Goal: 15% reduction in demand during irrigation months; 5% reduction during non-irrigation months.

External Actions: Mandatory lawn watering restriction to 2 days per week and voluntary reductions. 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.

Internal Actions: Implementation of any operational adjustments to improve water supply conditions. Coordination with Water Shortage Response Team and development of contingency plans for improving water supply availability based on the specific water supply situation. Coordination with local authorities related to implementation and enforcement of water conservation ordinances. Initiate communications with large water-use customers related to water conservation.

Triggers:

  • Water supply or delivery limitation resulting in inability to maintain distribution pressures at levels required 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 160 cfs. (Figure 4-2 of Drought Management Plan)
  • Volume of storage in Morse or Geist reservoir declines to below the lower of 75% above the total design drawdown capacity or 50% above the design drawdown capacity for the date. (Figures 4-4 and 4-5 of Drought Management Plan)
  • Groundwater levels approaching critical operating levels of several water production wells, resulting in the need to limit withdrawal capacities from some wellfields to conserve resources.
  • White River flow deficit forecast of greater than 3 BG
  • US Drought monitor indicates that Central Indiana is in a severe drought.

Tier 3 - Water Shortage Warning

Goal: 30% reduction in demand during irrigation months; 10% reduction during non-irrigation months.

External Actions: Mandatory restrictions via Water Conservation Ordinance. Bans lawn irrigation, with certain exceptions such as watering of vegetable gardens. Must be acknowledged by Mayor's office to trigger enforcement through the City's Department of Code Enforcement.

Internal Actions: Implementation of contingency plans to improve water supply conditions. Coordination with local authorities related to implementation and enforcement of water conservation ordinances. Increased coordination with large water-use customers related to water conservation.

Triggers:

  • Volume of storage in Morse Reservoir or Geist Reservoir declines to below the lower of 50% above the total design drawdown capacity or 25% above the design drawdown capacity for the date. (Figures 4-4 and 4-5 of Drought Management Plan)
  • Groundwater levels below critical operating levels of some water production wells, resulting in restricted withdrawal capacities from some individual wells.
  • White River flow deficit forecast of greater than 4 BG.
  • Other water supply warning condition that limits ability to supply volumes required to meet customer demands and that jeopardizes public safety or fire protection.

Tier 4 - Water Shortage Emergency

Goal: 40% reduction in demand during irrigation months; 20% reduction during non-irrigation months.

External Actions: Mandatory restrictions via Water Conservation Ordinance. Bans outdoor water uses, including lawn irrigation, washing cars, and filling swimming pools, with certain exceptions such as watering of vegetable gardens. Implement emergency actions to arrange for alternative supplies as necessary.

Internal Actions: Implementation of additional contingency plans to improve water supply conditions. Coordination with local authorities related to implementation and enforcement of water conservation ordinances and other potential emergency orders. Increased coordination with large water-use customers related to potential water rationing.

Triggers:

  • Volume of storage in Morse Reservoir or Geist Reservoir declines to below the lower of 25% above the total design drawdown capacity or the design drawdown curve volume for the date. (Figures 4-4 and 4-5 of Drought Management Plan)
  • Groundwater levels below critical operating levels of several water production wells, resulting in restricted withdrawal capacities from some wellfields.

Other water supply emergency condition that limits ability to supply volumes required to meet customer demands and that jeopardizes public safety or fire protection.