Worst case scenario in plain sight

Published 08/07 2012 05:07PM

Updated 08/07 2012 05:38PM

DECATUR -- Not enough water in Lake Decatur is giving boaters and families at home a lot to worry about. Low lake levels are making history and city officials are preparing for the worst case scenario.

They're targeting big industry companies like ADM and Tate and Lyle. The city's top 25-companies all got letters stating if lake levels worsened, they'll only be able to use a certain amount of water each day.

It'll hit people at home too. Water management is looking into limiting how many showers you take a day, and how many glasses of water you drink by checking meters more often.

It's all because of low lake levels which are hurting boaters too. Curtis Leslie's sailboat is stuck in the mud. He has to pay nearly $500 to get it out. Leslie was only able to take his boat out twice this summer. Boaters have been warned to keep boats off the lake for the rest of the summer.

Big companies like ADM have been preparing for the drought for nearly a year. ADM uses 2-million gallons/day from its own wells, and recycles 25% of its water.

The drought isn't hitting other communities quite as hard. For example, Charleston gets its water from a reservoir and has no restrictions. Danville isn't under any restrictions because it's lake levels aren't low. Springfield is limiting city water usage for landscaping to three days/week.

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