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Water Shortage Warning Expanded Statewide
Updated May 5, 2013 12:11 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - City and state officials are keeping their eyes on Geist and Morse Reservoirs.

Citizens Water says both are down significantly due to the drought.

However, Citizens Water Spokesperson Sarah Holsapple says customers are abiding by water restrictions nicely. She says Geist is down about two feet and Morse is down almost six feet from normal levels this time of year.

Holsapple says Geist, Morse and Eagle Creek supplement Marion County water supplies. Morse goes into the White River and serves two major water treatment facilities. Holsapple says the city pulls more water from Morse Reservoir.

Geist Reservoir goes into Fall Creek and serves a smaller water treatment facility. As a result, Holsapple says Citizens is beginning to pull more water from Morse to give the Geist facility a break.

Meantime, she adds customers have been using less than 165 millions of water per day. She says normal usage runs anywhere from 175-200 million gallons per day.

Despite the heatwave and drought, Holsapple says they don't anticipate stronger water restrictions as of yet. The next level would be a "Water Shortage Emergency." Holsapple says we're not there yet.

Morse Reservoir Beach Closed For Summer

DNR Spokesman Bill Brown says Morse Reservoir Beach is closed for the remainder of the summer.

Brown blames the move on the drought, low water levels and safety for boaters and frolickers. Brown says the water at Morse has gotten too far away from the sandy beach and is showing the bottom of the lake so the recreation area is shut down.

Brown says Geist is also a concern mainly for boaters who are also experiencing lower water levels. However, Brown adds the situation at Geist is not as pronounced. He also says there are more hazards from the lake bottom that are now closer to the surface. He adds folks should definitely not dive in the either lake at this point.

Commodity Prices Rise

The drought affecting farmers in Indiana and several other states is pushing commodity prices higher -- but that may not translate into inflation.

Purdue Agricultural Economist Corinne Alexander says the drought mainly affects crops like corn and soybeans, which Hoosiers generally don't consume directly -- we eat the animals which eat corn and soy meal as feed. That means it'll be next year before the effects show up in beef prices -- and even that effect may be muted as people adjust their shopping habits, buying more chicken if beef becomes too expensive.

And IU Agricultural Economist Tanya Hall says many larger companies have contracts locking in lower prices for several months, which may eliminate the need to pass along price hikes at all.

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