Pawnee City Council Declares Emergency Due To Water Shortage

Pawnee City Council declared a state of emergency due to low water supply. Right now Lake Pawnee is the city's only source of water. The lake's low water level and drought conditions have forced city officials to find other ways to supply water to their residents.

"It's pretty bad. I have never seen it this bad in my lifetime," said H. Warren Nuttle who lives in Pawnee.

Nuttle said it's no secret that the water in Pawnee lake continues to recede.

"We knew this was coming to this point where it would be shut off and we would have to look somewhere else for things," Nuttle said.

Even though it rained in Pawnee last week, the rainfall wasn't enough to solve the problem.

"Where we really get the volume increases is when we get runoff and we are not getting runoff yet because a lot of the ponds upstream need to fill before we start getting runoff," Pawnee Mayor Brad Sewell.

Since the water supply shortage is so severe, city council declared a state of emergency.

"That enables us to construct a water well quickly. ordinarily we would have to go through a bidding process and that would delay the project a couple of months," Mayor Sewell said.

The $260,000 project allows the city to drill two new wells as a long term solution.

"I believe we can expect continued drought conditions. I think just as the years go on this won't be the first time we see something like this and I want to make sure that Pawnee is protected from that," Mayor Sewell said.

One resident said he feels the city waited to long to come up with additional ways to supply water for Pawnee residents.

"It's just like everything they wait until things occur and then they start saying how do we clean this up how do we fix it.they wait to long," Nuttle said.

Pawnee Lake will continue to supply water for residents as well as the two city wells. Mayor Sewell said construction will start June 18, 2014 and both wells should be completes by end of July. If everything goes as scheduled, the new city wells should start supplying water to residents by early August. Right now residents the city of Pawnee is still under mandatory water rationing.