Researchers are predicting that Texas’ drought conditions could quite possibly become the new “worst” drought conditions in our history. Carolyn Brittin, Texas Water Development Board, states that “If we run into a drought of record today,” similarly or worse of the drought of the 1950’s, “we don’t have enough water to meet our demands.” Nacogdoches City Council enacted two-day a week voluntary watering restrictions in mid-august, however since that time usage numbers for the city as a whole have unfortunately increased. “This is serious,” said Mayor Roger Van Horn, “if our citizens don’t participate in the voluntary watering restrictions, and become good stewards of one of our limited resources, water, we could be in big trouble.” City wide water usage numbers from August to September increased by approximately 6 million gallons, of that number 3 million gallons were from irrigation accounts.
Currently the voluntary water restrictions encourage residents to follow a strict watering schedule for lawn irrigation, limiting sprinklers and lawn irrigation to only two days a week. However, if City Council chooses to enact the mandatory portion of the drought conservation plan, individuals can be cited and fined for not adhering to the restrictions. City staff also encourages residents to follow simple water conservation techniques and to encourage their families to do so as well. “It’s time to re-visit what we once learned as children, about the importance of conserving water and make it an essential part of our everyday life,” said Van Horn. Details on the watering schedule and on water conservation tips can be easily found by visiting www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us.
Both residential and business accounts are expected to adhere to the restrictions. “Green, lush lawns make for a beautiful landscape in our community, however our drought conditions need to take precedence over aesthetics at this point in time,” said Van Horn. The City of Nacogdoches will continue to keep a close eye on usage numbers throughout the month of October. The City can monitor water usage on all meters remotely, which will help determine where our non-compliant uses are located. It is critical that citizens adhere to the voluntary watering schedule at this point in time so that mandatory restrictions do not have to be issued.