BENNET–(KFOR June 22)–A mandatory reduction in water usage was issued Thursday by the Lancaster Rural Water District.

That means customers must cut back on sprinkler usage by 50 percent or face a total ban of sprinkler use. Jordan Bang, the manager of Lancaster Rural Water District 1 said the supply struggles really started in 2018 when a hot weekend and a huge jump in demand compromised water supply and quality. Since then, supply and demand have remained out of sync each summer.

The water district covers most of southern and eastern Lancaster County, along with a southwestern portion of Cass and far western Otoe counties. The latest drought monitor shows most of the Lincoln area in exceptional drought, which is the most extreme.