Cedar Rapids prepares summer drought plan, looking for feedback - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids prepares summer drought plan, looking for feedback


It may be the middle of winter, but Eastern Iowa's largest city is preparing for summer drought.

Cedar Rapids wants to know what residents think about its drought plan.

Last summer, the Edgewood 5 Seasons Car Wash saw more customers coming through because of the drought.

"It's dusty and that gets cars dusty, so I believe everybody did well," said owner Rod Meir.

Another dry summer could bring even more vehicles through the car wash.

As Cedar Rapids looks ahead, city officials are planning for drought.

"We're seeing a decrease in our well production, which means that we can't get as much water out to the community this year as we previously have been able to," said Megan Murphy, Utilities Communication Coordinator. "We are looking at water restrictions this summer."

The city has a drought plan with different stages.

Low levels of drought mean residents would be asked to voluntarily reduce water usage.

As the outdoor conditions worsen, restrictions would be enforced. Landscape watering would be limited to two days a week, and vehicles would need to be cleaned with a handheld hose or at a commercial car wash.

"Our main concern is protecting public health and safety," said Murphy. "That is having water available for sanitation, for drinking, for cooking and for fire protection."

The city isn't alone in preparing for the worst: A lot of companies in Cedar Rapids rely on a variety of water sources to keep their businesses going.

At Penford Products, company officials say they use the river, city water and well water to keep going and they have plans in place should the drought continue.

As for Meir, even though his company could see more business, he hopes the drought doesn't continue.

The City of Cedar Rapids wants feedback on its drought plan. The city will host two public meetings, and is taking input on the city website.

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