Wichitans ask why water restrictions weren't considered earlier

Wichitans may be forced to shut off the water this summer,  and the plan confuses many users.

"It's going to be a challenge for people to keep track of water usage, we realize that," says Ben Nelson with Wichita Public Works.

The proposal would basically fine you a $1,000 if you go over 310% of your average winter water usage. 

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Not only is the formula confusing to many, they're asking why after several years of drought are we just now hearing about restrictions.

"They say in 2015 that lake will be dry. This is the first year we're hearing about this. They should have been telling us about this two years ago," said Laurie Boorigie.

The city admits it could have done more to educate, but says it started putting plans into place last fall after the extremely hot and dry summer.

"I think the thing the city could have done better job with a more engaged voluntary conservation program," said Nelson.

Now the city says it has no choice.  If Cheney runs dry, the city water supply could be in big trouble.  The proposal, Nelson says, is the best of a lot of bad options.

"We realize that people have spent thousands of lawns and landscaping and we don't people to lose that."

Restrictions could be in place by early June. It's only a proposal right now.  The city council has not voted on the issue.

Wichitans ask why water restrictions weren't considered earlier