Carson water use exceeds capacity

Residents used more water Monday than Carson City could produce, forcing the city to scramble for more resources.

"The demand is right at our limits," said Utilities Manager Tom Hoffert. "With the warmer weather, we'd ask that everyone be aware of the water they use and conserve if possible."

The city used more than 20 million gallons of water, while city sources produced only 19 million.

To compensate, the city increased surface water flows from the state's Marlette/Hobart water system by 100 gallons per minute and gained usage of Ash Canyon Creek flows for the week.

"In addition, we've put on-line the last operational well," Hoffert said.

Two city wells were taken off-line recently after they lost production pumps. Because of a national steel shortage, the city doesn't expect to get replacement pumps until July 5. The steel shortage caused a two-month delay for replacement parts, Hoffert said.

A new well drilled this year at Fuji Park should also be operational in the next two weeks.

The city currently has access to 16,700 acre-feet of ground- and surface water for use each year. While it owns more than 28,000 acre-feet of water rights, rivers and ground basin resources allow the city to use only a designated amount.

An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons, or enough water to meet the needs of a family of five for a year.

Larger commercial water users were asked to cut usage this year as the city faced a fifth year of drought and sparse water supplies.

Carson City School District agreed to minimize water use this year and cut irrigation times, said Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the district.

In May, a typical elementary school used 200,000 gallons of water while Carson Middle School used 1.6 million gallons.

"That's cut back," Mitchell said. "It's very difficult for us to get all of our square footage anyhow. We just water for a shorter duration."

Residents are restricted to a water schedule during the summer, with residents required to water on odd and even days according to their street addresses and not water on the 31st of any month. The city issues fines for residents not following the restrictions from June 1 through Oct.1.

Contact Jill Lufrano at or 881-1217.


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