Carson City calls for voluntary water cutbacks

Carson City residents and government workers should voluntarily cut back on water use this weekend to keep tanks as full as possible, the city public works department said Friday.

The amount of water in city tanks is fine for everyday use and fire emergencies, but hot temperatures, declining flows from the west side and reconstruction of the Marlette Lake water system have affected supplies, said Curtis Horton of the public works department, who added that the city needs to be careful so it won't have a problem later.

People cooperated with the last voluntary cutback in July, which is appreciated by the city because it can be hard to do, Horton said.

"People want to keep their lawns green and flowers not wilted," he said.

Carson City has more than enough water, but the system of pipes and tanks that deliver the water can't handle all the demand in the summer and is susceptible to problems caused by heat. The city uses more than five times the amount of water on a summer day than it uses on a winter day.

The water system is also why the city has watering restrictions June through September which include: No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., no watering on Mondays and watering at most three days a week.

The work on the Marlette Lake system should help this problem, but that won't be finished for a few years.

About half the surface water in the city comes from creeks and streams, such as Kings Canyon Creek, and the other half is brought in from Marlette Lake and Hobart Reservoir from a pipeline.

The ground water is pumped from about 35 wells around the city. In the winter, it depends completely on surface water and, in the summer, it uses about 40 percent surface water and about 60 percent ground water.

The cutbacks do affect some of the city's largest water users such as the parks department, but it's not something that is "catastrophic," said Parks Director Roger Moellendorf.

The department also has an obligation to help out during the time, he said, and most of the grass can go for relatively long stretches of time without water.

Friday tied a record for the number of consecutive days, 35, at 90 degrees or above in the Reno area, said Kyle Mozley, a National Weather Service meteorologist, but he hasn't heard too many complaints because the temperatures were not often above 100 degrees.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.


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