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Drought Update

With recent rain, I have heard people wondering about the drought situation in Wichita. Have we had enough rain to lessen the threat of running out of water? According to the National Weather Service, short-term drought conditions have improved with the rain we received over the past few months. This affects shallow soil, which benefits crops. However, we are still facing the consequences of a long-term drought that began in 2011. The long-term drought is evidenced by low reservoir and aquifer levels. It would take 8-15 inches of rain in excess of the normal amounts to replenish reservoirs, aquifers, and deep soil moisture levels. Not only is the amount of rain important, but also the way in which it falls. Heavy rains sometimes accumulate too quickly and run off without soaking into the ground. We are in need of intermittent rains falling over a period of weeks. This will allow the moisture to soak in and ease the long-term drought.

 Whether the drought ends within months or years, we must learn to conserve. Many newer homes have efficient fixtures. However, if you have an older home, you may need to install low-flow faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads. Eartheasy.com states that we use 75% of our household water in the bathroom, and 28% in flushing toilets.

What is one thing you can do to conserve water in your home or office bathrooms?