Warm weather returned just in time this year to usher in Carson City's summer water restrictions.
Beginning Sunday, residents will be permitted to use water for lawns and landscaping from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. every other day.
Odd-numbered addresses can water on odd-numbered days, and even addresses can water on even-numbered days. No watering is allowed on July 31. Restrictions end Sept. 30.
Watering concrete and cement is probably not a great idea any time of the year, but is especially not welcome during the summer. The city prohibits using water to clean driveways and sidewalks.
Any excessive watering that results in streams running along a street, alley or storm drainage system is also prohibited. Violations of watering restrictions lead to a warning, then fines ranging from $50 to $500.
Water restrictions, initiated in 1982, were put in place as a way to manage the city's water resources, said Utilities Manager Tom Hoffert. The city's water system has since been designed around the water-saving program.
Without the restrictions, the city would need need to spend a substantial amount of money to build new wells and increase its water supply.
"If we had to meet everyone's water demand on any day, the system would almost have to be double the size of what it is now," Hoffert said.
Residents would also face the possibility of paying twice the water rate on their monthly bills to pay for expansions, Hoffert said.
Carson City owns enough water rights to serve a population of approximately 80,000 residents, with enough left over to cover a disaster or emergency event, Hoffert said.
Last year, the city used 12,500 acre feet of its total 17,000 acre feet of water rights. An acre foot of water, equivalent to 325,851 gallons, equals one foot of water spread out over 1 acre.
"We only add additional wells and production capacity to use more of those water rights as we need," Hoffert said. The city adds wells every year to utilize more ground water rights as demand increases, he said.