The effects of historic weather conditions and the ongoing drought have come home to roost in Indiana and the City of Greencastle.
To that end, Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray Monday signed an executive order titled "Declaration of Local Water Conservation Order."
All citizens are asked to reduce their water use to essential needs only, and to discontinue using water for non-essential needs.
"We have received correspondence from IDEM, telling us of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Natural Resources are warning of a water shortage affecting the entire state," Mayor Murray told the Banner Graphic. "They have asked us to initiate concerted voluntary conservation efforts that will reduce local water use by 10 to 15 percent."
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Indiana Homeland Security order states that the lack of rainfall has the potential of creating water shortages for the city and its customers.
Thus, the agencies "have declared the current condition in Putnam County (along with all 91 others) to be at warning level with the stated objective that citizens reduce their water use by 10 to 15 percent."
The order signed Monday morning by Mayor Murray, states that although "the city currently has an adequate supply of water in its aquifer, the potential exists for future shortages if current drought conditions prevail."
The executive order declares a voluntary water conservation program "in order to protect life and property from real and potential loss."
Greencastle citizens are asked to conserve water by whatever means they find appropriate, including but not limited to:
-- Discontinuing washing of vehicles, considering instead the use of commercial car washes that recycle water.
-- Discontinuing the watering of lawns.
-- Reducing the amount of water used on athletic fields.
-- Running appliances such as clothes washers and dishwashers only with full loads.
-- Discontinuing use of ornamental or recreational water features and toys that require a constant stream of water.
-- Discontinuing washing of sidewalks and driveways.
-- Reusing water for non-drinking purposes whenever possible.
-- Finding and repairing any water leaks in residents' homes or businesses.
The order further states that "citizens should continue to ensure, however, that they use water whenever needed for personal hydration and cooling purposes to ensure their own healthy well-being, especially for children and the elderly."
If not rescinded sooner, the executive order shall expire in seven days, unless due to continued extreme weather conditions, it needs to be extended or strengthened by further executive order, and is confirmed by the Greencastle City Council.