Water levels full on 1-year anniversary of lawn-watering ban

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On the one-year anniversary of a controversial lawn-watering ban, Citizens Energy Group told Fox 59 News that water levels in Indianapolis are currently full.

A severe drought and high heat prompted the restrictions that went into place on July 17, 2012. The majority of water is used outside the home on lawns and the like, the utility said.

In spite of the replenished water levels, Citizens said Hoosiers should look to conserve the natural resource as the weather gets hotter. Already this week, which saw the year’s first 90-degree day, the utility said people have started using more water. Usage increased by 13 million gallons from Sunday to Monday, from 154 to 167 million gallons.

“If we see consecutive days where it’s so hot like this and no rain, we could run into some issues,” said Citizens Energy Group spokesperson Jennifer Mentink. Mentink said about one inch of water per week will keep lawns alive, pointing to the fact that once-brown and dry lawns returned to health after last year’s historic drought.

Watering twice a week with a hose would be plenty, she said. Hoosiers remember the watering ban well and are glad conditions have improved in the year since the ban took effect.

“I really didn’t water mine. They say don’t water, don’t water. We gotta conserve the water for somewhere else,” said Pastor Jerry Atkinson, who Fox 59 News met while he tended to his lawn on the northwest side of Indianapolis.

Atkinson said he has hardly watered his lawn this year because of all the rain. He said he has no problem with the heat cranking up this week and the affect it might have on his grass.

“We can’t complain about the weather, the summer,” Atkinson said. “Enjoy it while we can, know what I mean. Winter [will] be here before we know it.”