The Public Works Department for Williston, North Dakota, has recommended an amendment to the existing ordinance on water usage. At the moment, the city’s regulations have no provisions governing lawn watering use, except for in emergency situations.

With a recent increase in capacity at the Williston Treatment Plant, there isn’t expected to be a water emergency nor a shortage this year. Nevertheless, an amendment is still being suggested.

Public Works Department Director David Tuan suggests the city alter the existing ordinance to put an even and odd schedule into effect at all times. While this plan wouldn’t be enforced, it would be put into the city code for citizens to follow voluntarily.

If an emergency occurred, the city commission could start imposing water restrictions. These limits include prohibiting the use of municipal water for watering, sprinkling, irrigating yards, lawns and gardens.

When these plans were first presented before the city commission, they came under scrutiny by several commissioners and members of the public. Mayor Ward Koeser was concerned that it could discourage people from watering their lawns, which could make the city less clean and presentable. As a result, the proposed ordinance has been tabled until the Public Works Department can present a usage schedule that mitigates the concerns of the commission board.