Many businesses were curtailing hours, such as the 33rd and O Starbucks, or making other changes to comply with water restrictions on Monday.

Businesses appear to be taking the city's mandatory water restrictions to heart.

Mayor Chris Beutler on Sunday announced an emergency order calling for a 50 percent reduction in water use by residents and 25 percent reduction by industrial, commercial and institutional users.

Beutler said the mandatory water restrictions were necessary because of record flooding on the Platte River near Ashland that has put the city's wellfields in jeopardy.

Many businesses were heeding the call, including breweries, which are large water users.

Zipline Brewing Co. said it was reducing the size of a batch of its Kolsch beer, suspending all nonessential water-based cleaning and switching temporarily to disposable cups for all pours in the taprooms.

"We hope folks will forgive us next month if their Kolsch supply gets a little thin," co-founder Tom Wilmoth said in an email.

White Elm Brewing Co. said it was going a step further.

"We also want to do our part to ensure water safety, so we have voluntarily paused our production schedule for now to reduce any additional stress on the city's water supply," the brewery said on its Facebook page.

White Elm also said it would temporarily be switching to disposable cups in its taproom.

Disposable cups were also on the menu at Buffalo Wings & Rings, along with disposable plates, bowls and utensils, said Michael Barton, whose family is the Lincoln franchisee.

Barton said the restaurant's two locations also plan to use their dishwashers minimally and wash most kitchen items by hand.

"We anticipate we will reduce our water by nearly 40 percent in doing this," Barton said in an email.

Jason Metcalf, who owns nearly all the Scooter's Coffee locations in Lincoln, said the business uses pitcher rinsers that limit the amount of water needed to clean steaming pitchers and blenders.

Metcalf said he also was asking employees to bring their own water for drinking.

He said regular coffee is a small part of Scooter's business, and most specialty and blended drinks are made with regular, soy or almond milk.

La Paz Mexican Restaurant did not serve lunch Monday, waiting to open until 4 p.m. for dinner service, to help conserve water. It also said in a Facebook post that it will serve meals on disposable table settings.

Prairie Life Fitness sent an email to its members asking them to bring their own towels and bottles of water and also to limit shower times.

"Water is available, but please help us do our part with the restriction," the email said.

Manufacturing plants are some of the city's largest water users, and at least one of them said it was cutting back.

“As one of Lincoln’s largest consumers of water, we believe we have a responsibility to adjust our usage to address the water shortage," Lincoln Industries Vice President Tim Carpenter said in an email.

Carpenter said the metal-finishing company will change water-flow rates in its manufacturing processes and, in some cases, curtail production.

People reported other businesses were taking measures such as shutting off coffee and ice machines and bringing in bottled water and other drinks for employees.

Grocery stores were doing a brisk business in bottled water sales Monday, but many seemed to be keeping up with demand.

"Our supplier is getting us water, and we are keeping up," said Marty Jarvis, marketing director for Lincoln-based B&R Stores, which owns Super Saver and Russ's Market.

Jarvis said there has been a definite uptick in bottled water sales over recent days.

Tina Potthoff, a spokeswoman for Hy-Vee, said its Lincoln stores also have sold a lot of bottled water, particularly its store brand.

She said the stores have not had any trouble keeping water in stock and, "We are not limiting customers on their purchase of water."

City officials said they hoped water restrictions would only last a couple of days.

Nebraska flooding photos, videos

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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