Drought still causing problems

HAYS, Kansas – The drought in Hays is making the city commission think seriously about water and how to conserve in the long-term.

“Water’s not as simple as just one correct answer. Water is used in so many different ways by so many different people, and Hays is taking the approach that all water use matters, and we’re trying to address it in every way possible,” said Nicholas Willis, Hays Interim Asst. Director of Utilities.

The utilities department pitched some water saving solutions during a work session with the city commission on Thursday that could be implemented in new homes.

“What we have is what we have, and in order to continue Hays’ growth, we need to live within our means. It’s sort of like living in a budget,” said Willis.

Including shower heads that use 40 percent less water.

The city commission is thinking about requiring water saving fixtures to be installed in all new homes.

“I think the changes that are coming in the green plumbing and mechanical code, people generally won’t notice a difference, though a toilet may be using 20 percent less water, it will still function in the same manner,” added Willis.

The thing that could cause the new home owners to be unhappy would be landscaping regulations.

Willis thinks that people need to adapt to the amount of water in Hays.

“If you look at what’s being built in Hays, the outside of the properties look like what’s being built in Johnson County, and we have a very different climate from eastern Kansas, and to grow the same type of grass requires a lot more irrigation.”

The city commission will vote on the regulations at their next meeting Thursday.

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