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Communities impose outdoor water usage restrictions

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VILLAGE OF PEWAUKEE -- Gov. Scott Walker announced Monday, July 9th a drought emergency for 42 southeastern Wisconsin counties, and with the lack of rain, communities are getting stricter regarding how people are allowed to use water. 

Earl Fulcer of Pewaukee returned from a two-week vacation to find it hadn't rained back home, continuing a very dry start to summer.

"Plants in distress, just as we were from the heat in Indiana," Fulcer said.

David White, the Village of Pewaukee's public works director, said the water supply isn't dangerously low, but it is important to be proactive. Thus, the Village of Pewaukee has imposed a ban on lawn sprinkling. Bushes, flowers and trees can still be watered.

"We haven't had any rain. I guess we've had three-tenths of an inch of rain in one day in June, and otherwise, in 40 days, that's all we've had," White said.

Unless the village gets stricter with its water ban, Fulcer said he'll be able to nurse his plants back to health, but he still wants to see rain.

"Crops everywhere are just dying in the field. It's been terrible -- the whole Midwest. We saw some pretty sad situations in our travels to Indiana and back," Fulcer said.

As for his own yard, Fulcer said he's optimistic the garden will thrive again, even if it's at the expense of the lawn.

"It'll always come back. This won't hurt the lawn at all. Next spring, it'll be green again," Fulcer said.

Germantown has also enacted a total ban on lawn-watering.

The City of Pewaukee, Brookfield, Oconomowoc and New Berlin are all limiting outdoor water usage. They're on an even/odd schedule, meaning people can use their hoses on even-numbered days if they have an even-numbered address, and vice versa.

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