Des Moines water officials lift water-use restriction

July 15, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials at the public water system for the city of Des Moines have lifted a call for customers to limit lawn watering by 25% as drought conditions have eased.

Des Moines Water Works lifted that call on Thursday after implementing it last month when the flow of its major water source, the Raccoon River, dropped to less than 300 cubic feet per second — a drastic drop from the river’s median flow of 4,000 cubic feet per second.

The combination of the low water flow and high demand and resulted in Des Moines Water Works demand reaching 90% of capacity on June 11. The utility that serves 500,000 customers in central Iowa said it delivered nearly 90 million gallons of water that day.

Recent rains have helped both increase the river’s water level and cut customer demand for lawn watering, Des Moines Water Works’ chief executive officer and general manager Ted Corrigan said.

The utility is monitoring water use and water quality on a daily basis and said worsening condition could lead to reinstatement of water-use limitations.