CAMERON, Mo. — Drought conditions and weeks of little rainfall this summer have led to an emergency water shortage in Cameron, Missouri.
According to a city spokesperson, Cameron’s reservoirs have fallen below 40 percent capacity. Normally, the water supply measures above 70 percent capacity this time of year.
The shortage has led to city officials implementing restrictions barring water from being used on plants, lawns, gardens, golf courses, and fountains.
The situation this summer has also led to restaurants in the area taking precautions to conserve water.
“We try to only put so much ice in the glass now for customers and they have to ask us for the water,” said Laurine Calvert, who manages Tub Creek BBQ in town. “We don’t just do a few dishes at a time. It has to be a full load every time.”
Many homeowners in the area have been forced to make changes to their daily routine as a result of the shortage in Cameron as well.
“When you turn the water faucet on every day you have to think of shutting it off now,” said Keith Mathews, who has lived in Cameron for 25 years. “You don’t pay a whole lot of attention until they come back and tell you we’re going to run out of water.”
Mathews showed 41 Action News around his home on Thursday and said he has been mindful of the water supply.
“I try and cut down on using the dishwasher. I fill the sink with water,” he said. “I was bad about it. When you’re brushing your teeth, you let the water run. Now, I turn the water off.”
Mathews said he hopes others were making similar decisions to help conserve water this summer.
“I think everybody is trying to do their part. I hope they are,” he said. “If we run out, what are we going to do?”
According to the city’s website, anyone who is caught violating the water restrictions faces a fine of up to $100.
To help with the situation, the city continues to work on building a pipeline connecting Pony Express Lake to one of Cameron’s reservoirs.
While the pipeline is expected to be finished sometime next week, residents of Cameron said they would keep going and remain hopeful that relief will come soon.
“It’s amazing the little things you don’t think about and how it really affects the water situation,” Laurine Calvert said. “It’s something we take for granted every day of our lives.”