The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 24, 2012

Our View: Planning required

The Joplin Globe

— Did you really need to wash that half-load of laundry? Could you have waited until the dishwasher was full before hitting the “normal wash” button?

Do you really think there’s hope for your parched brown yard? No? Then turn off the sprinklers.

Missouri American Water Co. on Monday asked all of its Joplin-area customers to voluntarily conserve water. Even if you get your water through your own well or through another utility, the message is consistent.

We’re in a drought. Stop using water like there’s no tomorrow.

Shoal Creek, the main source of supply for Joplin, is currently down to a flow of 48 cubic feet per second, according to the United States Geological Survey monitoring system.

The normal flow this time of year is around 400 cubic feet per second.

That’s cause for concern, especially given a forecast that only teases us this week with the possibility of rain on Thursday.

Missouri American Water is asking residents to follow a defined outdoor watering schedule. People with odd-numbered street addresses should water only on odd calendar days. Those with even-numbered street addresses should water only on even calendar days.

The world will not end if your car is dirty. For that matter, the world won’t end if you’re a little dirty. Shorter showers are on the suggested list of ways to save water.

Right now, the conservation measures are voluntary.

Let’s keep it that way.