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Amid drought, city calls for water conservation





Drought conditions in Indiana are worsening, with 99.86 percent of the state currently suffering abnormally dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

While drought conditions in Monroe County are considered severe, northern and southwestern regions of the state are considered to be under extreme drought conditions.

Across Indiana, 68.58 percent of the state is currently under severe drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and 23.46 percent of the state is considered to be under extreme drought conditions.

Because of the dry spell, City of Bloomington Utilities Director Patrick Murphy has asked residents to voluntarily reduce water consumption, particularly as outdoor water use increases during the summer months.

Residents could save millions of gallons of water daily, Murphy said in a press release, by voluntarily taking several water conservation steps, such as reducing lawn and landscaping water, limiting car washing, only washing full loads of laundry and dishes and turning off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving.

The average American home can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every day because of running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks, according to the release.

Several of the Utility Department’s largest water consumers, including IU, Monroe County Government, Ivy Tech Community College and the Monroe County School Corporation, have agreed to cooperate with conservation efforts, according to the release.

Water conservation tips:

Wash only full loads of laundry.

Instead of using the garbage disposal, add food waste to compost piles.

Only use the dishwasher when it is fully loaded.

Shower rather than taking a bath.

Install a low-flow toilet.

Limit the amount of water used for watering grass and trees. The ideal time to irrigate is from 4 to 8 a.m. when water demand is at its lowest and the amount of water lost to evaporation is negligible.

Use mulch around trees and shrubs to decrease water loss due to evaporation.

— Mark Keierleber

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