Recent improvements in Cheney Reservoir levels have prompted the city to table the controversial ideas of imposing $1,000 fines or 500 percent rate increases on heavy water users. Instead, Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting will include consideration of proposed conservation incentives for homes and businesses, such as a $100 rebate for buying a high-efficiency dishwasher or installing a weather sensor on a sprinkler system. Such a positive, proactive approach seems wise and necessary. But recent rains will only slow Wichita’s long-term water-supply problem, and the city must plan ahead to avert any crisis. Meanwhile, city officials need to continue to vet the proposed punitive measures, which raise questions about fairness, logistics and efficacy.
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