We have created multiple pages to help you find the information you are looking for:
- Below - General Information about our water system and situation
- Outdoor Irrigation Restrictions page
- Water News Updates
- Video Reports
- Resources from the UW Extension page
- Flows and Storage Data
- Petition for State Water Funding
- Archived Water Information:
General Water Situation
The City of Rawlins was under water restrictions for the watering season of 2022. As with most of Wyoming, we are in a drought which is worsened by our infrastructure issues. We currently receive around 1.5 million gallons of water a day into the treatment plant and consistently use 1 million gallons per day for household use. Our May 2022 flows were half of what they were in May 2021.
We estimate that this is enough water for each home to give their lawn one good soaking a week. Although this is significantly less than what your lawn would need to be green and lush, the one day of deep watering will help it survive through this year. When there is not enough water available to keep turf green, watering deeper and less is more effective at helping it through the summer. Once a week watering also helps us monitor usage and keep the tanks filled.
Our water situation will continue to improve as more and more infrastructure is repaired over the next few years. We also believe this is sufficient water to water gardens, flowers, trees, etc. as needed. For complete details on our outdoor irrigation restrictions, see our Outdoor Irrigation Restrictions page.
In the summer, water use increases to 3 to 6 million gallons of water per day because of outdoor watering. This obvious shortfall in water supply needs to be taken seriously to have water available for our community. If our community waters the same amount as last year during restrictions, we estimate that our water tanks would be completely empty by mid-to-late June.
Thanks to the hard work of our community, the water tanks never drained completely. Only one limited water use was declared, and one two-week period of no-turf watering, which was tied to the side effects of connecting new infrastructure in the Sage Creek Basin.
Map of Water System
What if the tanks get low?
If the water tanks reach the point where they are even close to being drained, which could lead to water loss in our community and a boil water advisory, we declare Limited Water Use. This is our method to ask the community to pull back on all water use as much as possible to allow the tanks to refill.
Under limited water use, the restrictions are:
- Short showers as necessary
- Maximum 1 load of laundry per day per family, only necessary items
- Washing dishes with the minimum amount of water, dishwasher only when full
- Seasonal Notes:
- No outdoor irrigation.
- If you cannot keep pipes warm, leave a slow water drip during freezing events. Burst pipes often waste more water.
If Limited Water Use is declared, we will notify the public: on our website news flash (subscribe for email or texts at rawlinswy.gov/notifyme under "City of Rawlins News", though AlertSense (subscribe at www.rawlinswy.gov/AlertSense), on Facebook at City of Rawlins Government, through our Utility Bill payment software for all users with an email, through flyers in high-traffic locations and businesses, and on mobile electronic signs throughout the community.
What if I need more clarification?
Since our staff generally, and one Community Relations/PIO, spend a lot of time thinking about water, it can be hard for us to understand what information we are missing. If you have additional questions you would like to see addressed on our website, or one-on-one, please reach out to email@example.com or 307-328-4500 ext. 1022.
What is being done?
The City of Rawlins has been working diligently this winter on our water infrastructure, including allocating over $2 million in repairs to our water infrastructure this year alone and applying for over $11 million in grants. We are also actively pursuing grants and loans for our major water infrastructure improvements which will exceed $20 million.
We are also working on a plan to bring the river water into the cemetery in the future, and potentially parks and sports fields so that our potable water is not needed for those locations. Rochelle Ranch Golf Course is watered using raw river water and does not affect our potable water supply.
For the latest details, Water News Updates
What about our required fire hydrant flow testing?
In an effort to conserve water during our city-wide restriction, the Rawlins Fire Department only flow-tested 15 out of the 130 fire hydrants required for annual testing. The other 115 were inspected for any maintenance discrepancies, paint issues, and proper operation of hardware. Those 15 hydrants are the minimum number the Insurance Services Office (ISO) requires data on to ensure service testing is being accomplished. Please contact Fire Chief Blain Schumacher at (307) 328-4596 for additional information.
How does funding work for water infrastructure repairs?
Our water system is an enterprise fund, which means it runs as an independent business and must be self-sufficient by law. General funding, such as sales tax, cannot be used for our water system.
What is the status of the pre-treatment plant, which will allow us to use more river water?
The pretreatment plant hasn't been used for around a decade. For up-to-date information, please visit Water News Updates.