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32 Counties Under Water Shortage Warning

Last updated on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A water shortage warning has been issued for 32 counties across Indiana in an effort to inspire voluntary water conservation.

A water shortage warning is the second most severe stage, followed by a shortage emergency, which would be declared by the governor and would involve mandatory water restrictions.

"This warning phase is still just a voluntary reduction of 10 to 15 percent of water usage, and applies to all different types of water usage in the state," Mark Basch, of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Water, told RTV6's Chris Proffitt.

Morse Reservoir, Geist Reservoir and Eagle Creek Reservoir are the primary drinking water sources for Indianapolis, and according to Citizens Water, the levels are dropping daily.

While Marion County is not part of the water warning, Citizens is asking customers to voluntarily conserve water, and they're warning that there could be mandatory restrictions.

Lawn watering, in particular, is one area in which water use can be scaled back, according to Citizens.

The company said that they set water-usage records last Wednesday and Thursday and that 40 percent of the water was used to water lawns.

"The reality is that if we don't get rain, it will be rationed in some way or another and then we won't be able to keep alive what we need to keep alive," said Indianapolis resident Christa Russell.

According to the National Weather Service, Indiana faces a historic drought with no substantial break in the pattern of heat and lack of rain.

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