Officials with Missouri American Water say the flow from Shoal Creek is down more than 100 million gallons a day compared to what's normal this time of year.
And they're asking Joplin homeowners like Nancy Keller to cut back
"We have lived in places where we've had regular water restrictions during the summer months. And I wondered why it why it hadn't been done here truthfully," Keller says.
So while Keller normally waters her yard regularly - she won't be getting out the hose quite so often. In fact, Missouri American Water is asking residents to water only every other day - even numbered days for even numbered addresses and odds on odds.
"It can really really help alleviate the stress on the water supply. Will it completely head off having to go to mandatory conservation? I don't know that, that's impossible to predict," says Christie Barnhart of Missouri American Water. "But at least it gets people thinking about the need to instill these measures in their home and in their daily living."
Joplin isn't the first in the area to ask for restrictions - and it's not that demand has skyrocketed.
"Typically when we've asked for water conservation, it's been an issue of being able to get the water out through the plant," says Barnhart. "This is exactly the opposite in that now we're looking at conservation measures that are being dictated by our source of supply."
Low water levels in Shoal Creek... and very little rain to help. "Now that the water company is asking for conservation, I'll make a conscientious effort to cut back," says Keller.
And it's not just lawn watering. Shorter showers, checking for water leaks, even turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and shaving will help, especially during the peak water usage hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Other ways you can conserve:
*Conserve by not letting the water run when you brush your teeth.
*Don't water your lawns everyday.
*Take shorter showers.
*Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and porches.
*Run dishwashers and washing machines only when full and necessary.
(Gretchen Bolander, KODE, Joplin)