A drought will affect each community's water supply differently depending on where they get their water and how much water the community uses.
In Cedar Rapids, we draw our drinking water from a shallow aquifer located next to the Cedar River. The benefit of this type of aquifer is that it can readily provide the amount of quality water needed to support our local industries and our growing community.
We have about 50 different wells placed along the Cedar River that we can use to bring water to our treatment facilities. The water in our shallow aquifer comes from a mixture of groundwater and filtered river water. Under normal conditions, the water level in our aquifer is maintained by water from the river filtering through the river bank.
When we experience drought conditions, our river flow decreases and therefore less river water is available to filter into our aquifer. As a consequence, the water levels in the aquifer can be slowly depleted. As we continue to use water in our daily lives, the aquifer level can continue to decrease.
When this happens, we need to start looking at reducing the amount of water we use every day.