Fountains at Waterwalk open despite drought

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WICHITA, Kan. - It's a sign summer is coming in Wichita. The Fountains at Waterwalk are being turned on downtown Friday - apparently with different rules from a year ago.

The fountains were flowing when Good Morning Kansas visited downtown Wichita early Friday. A statement from the city's Arts Division promises four fountain shows will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October.

That's a switch from last year, when City Manager Robert Layton said a review of city water use and a drought required the fountains to be kept off. The fountains didn't return with a daily schedule until mid-August, after heavy rains soaked much of Kansas.

Yet a check of federal drought maps show Wichita and Sedgwick County currently are considered in "extreme drought," the second highest level. The city statement about the fountains does not explain what has changed from 2013, and never mentions the word "drought" at all.

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