Hamilton Battles Water Shortage

This year's drought is starting to have big impacts on small towns. In Hamilton, the city is in the midst of a water shortage.

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 9:52 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 10:03 AM

(HAMILTON, Mo.) This year's drought has started to have big impacts on small towns.

"We need water for everyday living. I'd like for the people in town to be able to use their swimming pools, I'd like to be able to wash my car," Keith Gilbert, Hamilton City Alderman, said.

In Hamilton, the city has been in the midst of a water shortage.

"If you talk to some of the old timers in town, they say this is the worst its been." Jean Van Iperen, City Administrator, said.

The problem goes all the way back to the winter months. First, a lack of snowfall followed by a dry spring that only made things worse. Now, the heat has just added to the problem.

"All of that affects what's going into the reservoir," said Van Iperen.

The Hamilton Reservoir sits a few miles west of town. The current water level sits so low that the city has imposed tough water restrictions.

Residents can't water their lawns or plants, they also can't fill their own swimming pools, or even go to the car wash. In addition to the restrictions, residents and businesses are also asked to cut their regular water consumption by 30 percent.

Still, its not enough to keep enough water in the reservoir.

"We're losing two inches a week...every week." said Gilbert.

The city has seen growth on its main strip over the past few years, and city leaders said the drought puts that growth at a standstill.

"Its uncomfortable for everybody. We want the town to grow, but with the reservoir being so low, you just can't." Gilbert added.

There's only one thing that can turn it all around...rain. The need for water is so great, a typical shower or thunderstorm won't cut it.

"We need the two, the three the four inch rains, and still it's gonna take a lot of those." said Van Iperen.

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This week will be much cooler than last week for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Wind chills Monday morning will be in the teens with the daytime high only getting into the 40s. Tuesday we will see a little bit of a warm up with highs in the mid 40's.
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