Gardner’s water plant is operating at more than 80 percent of capacity, and city officials are asking residents to start conserving water.
The plant has been at 80 percent capacity for the last week, and the forecast calls for conditions to continue to be hot and dry through at least the weekend of July 6-7.
The state water office placed all Hillsdale reservoir in a “Water Watch” last November due to widespread drought in the state, and today, Gov. Brownback declared a drought in all 105 counties, including emergency, warning and watch status.
“Dry, windy and above normal temperatures in Kansas have led to a Drought Emergency declaration for 36 counties,” Brownback said. “Below normal precipitation patterns are not only depleting available soil moisture, but these types of conditions have resulted in numerous fires as well.”
Johnson County joins 54 other counties in a warning status.
Gardner officials are asking Gardner residents to alternate days when watering lawns. Those with even addresses water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and odd addresses water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No watering on Sundays.
Officials also request that residents limit the filling of swimming pools and washing vehicles, wash full laundry loads rather than partial loads, take shorter showers, and  fix leaking faucets and toilet fixtures as soon as possible.
The Governor signed the drought executive order based on a recommendation from Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team.
“The insidious effects of the continued drought across much of the state have caused stream flow in many areas to drop below median levels,” Streeter said. “It is imperative we monitor conditions for the state as they could deteriorate quickly with no reserves.”
The Governor’s office is asking farmers and ranchers to keep an open dialogue with county emergency boards as they continue to monitor crop conditions for losses that may occur due to drought, severe storms and hail.
The Governor’s order will remain in effect until rescinded by executive order or until superseded by a subsequent executive order. The order authorizes all agencies to implement and appropriate watch or warning level-drought response actions assigned in the Drought Response Team’s operations plan.
The response team will continue to watch the situation and work to minimize the effects of the drought on Kansans.
Other conservation tips are available online here .