CUT BACK: First Request In Decades

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The 1970s was the last time Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager of the Des Moines Water Works, recalls metro leaders taking water conservation efforts to a Stage 1 level. Beavers asked customers to voluntarily cut use 10% to combat record usage as the Midwest battles the ongoing drought. Beavers released a list of ways customers can reduce. But he said the primary way would be to quit watering lawns. If customers insist on watering, Beavers called for watering only every other day.

Beavers said if enough people don't conserve and/or if the drought worsens, he might have to raise conservation efforts to an unprecedented Stage 2 level. He said, "If they don't stop, then we could go into a mandatory water use restrictions. We can implement something we haven't done, a conservation water rate, which hasn't been established yet. But that could end up doubling, tripling, quadrupling water rates or more."

The Stage 2 level requires customers to reduce usage by 30%.