This drought of historic proportions has reduced Stanford's two reservoirs to levels that can serve the area for three to five months, said Alan DeShon, manager of the Stanford Water Department.
Without enduring relief from the drought, the city may have to draw water from Buffalo Springs to augment its reservoirs, as it did in 1988.
Stanford City Council is expected to hold a special meeting this evening at 6:30
to discuss the outdoor watering ban it enacted about two weeks ago and to move forward with its Buck Creek Project, which will provide the city with a third water
ource. The project is expected to take six months and begin the middle of November.
In the meantime, city officials continue to ban most outdoor watering in Stanford, with the exception of commercial car washes. The city council continued to exempt commercial car washes from the town's mandatory water restrictions at a special meeting Thursday.
But that could change tonight if and when the council meets to discuss the city's dwindling water supply.
During the previous discussion of the car wash exemption, Stanford Mayor Bill Miracle said, "I don't think we can do that. We can't pick and choose. An ordinance is an ordinance."
But councilman Eddie Carter repeated what he has said during the time leading
to water restrictions: "I have a problem putting several businesses out of business," he said. "But I can't be objective. I've been in business here all my life. But I've got a problem right now in stopping the car washes."
Car wash owners Kenny Noe and Dickie Cooper were at the council meeting. "I understand the urgency, but we use one percent of the water out of this system in car washes. How much does food service use?" Noe said. He said it was unfair to
"pick out car washes because we're a car wash."
"None of us wants to shut down car washes," said Councilman Mike Southerland.
Out in the county, Bob Maples is manager of the McKinney water district. He said McKinney is following Stanford's lead on restrictions, although county government hasn't set restrictions. Maples said McKinney buys its water from Stanford, so when Stanford is out they are out.
Crab Orchard Water District Manager John Kuhn said Crab Orchard buys its
water from Lancaster. Garrard County, in turn, draws water from the Kentucky River and a reservoir, and they are in good shape. They have not issued warnings or restrictions.
A four-inch pipe connects Stanford and Crab Orchard, and Kuhn said he would "love to sell water to Stanford," but they haven't contacted him.
Alan DeShon, superintendent of the Stanford Water Department, placed the city's remaining water supply at "three to five months." "That's a very rough estimate,"
DeShon said he hopes to have a more accurate estimation of the degree to which the city's water supply is exhausted.
The city last enacted water restrictions in 1988. "We're in better shape than in '88," said Jack Withrow, chairman of the Stanford Water Commission. Withrow was on the city
council in 1988 when Stanford required its water customers to reduce their useage by 10 percent of the average of the previous two months' useage or face steep surcharges. The city turned to using a portable pump to get water from Buffalo
Springs to augment the water supply in its reservoir.
On Thursday, the council considered doing so again. With a portable pump, the city could get 200,000 gallons a day out of Buffalo Springs, it's estimated. "It's the only source we've got," said Jack Withrow, chairman of the Stanford Water Commission.
"Can we rely on that?" said Councilman Steve Lucas.
'I can't answer that," Withrow replied.
How much rain is it going to take to get the lake back to normal? "A lot of rain," Withrow
aid. "An inch will not help much. The ground will soak it up."