College Station Considers Possibility of Mandatory Water Restrictions

By: Mike George & Shel Winkley Email
By: Mike George & Shel Winkley Email

The possibility of mandatory water restrictions is one step closer in College Station.

Those who oversee water usage in that city tell News 3, the heat and drought are taking its toll on the amount of water that can be stored and treated in the city.

Water Resource Coordinator, Jennifer Nations says, it has come to the point where residents are going to have to decide which is more important, water for green lawns or water to drink, bathe or fight fires with.

Nations says the city has come very close the last few days to the trigger point, where the process begins for possible mandatory water restrictions. The trigger point is three days in a row of water consumption of 90%of capacity. Monday and Wednesday were over 90% of capacity. When that happens, the decision to go into Stage Two Drought Restrictions is ultimately made by the City Manager. The city will look at measures to reduce demand, alternate water sources, changes in operations, and other factors before any decisions to go into Stage Two.

Just to give you an example of water usage in the city, Wednesday, College Station residents consumed 24.4 million of water and on Monday 24.3 millions. The city can only handle 27 million gallons per day.

The city is now asking residents to conserve water more than ever before. On average in the summer, one person uses about 140 gallons of water a day -- and in a drought situation like this, if you are watering your lawn to keep it lush and green, that number could be as high as 300 gallons. Just as a reference point, it normally takes around 2 gallons of water to brush your teeth, 2 to 7 gallons to flush a toilet and 25 to 50 gallons to take a shower.

One way to drastically cut down on water usage is using the recommended schedule when watering your lawn:

--Even address residents:Tuesday & Saturday
--Odd address residents: Thursday & Sunday.

If Stage two Drought Restricitions were enforced, this would be the set watering schedule that College Station would enforce rather than simply recommend.

This concern has come about due to the recent extreme temperatures the Brazos Valley has felt over the past couple of days. It is worth mentioning that if the same conditions continue over the next couple of weeks, with students and residents moving back as Texas A&M and Blinn classes get back into full swing -- our water demands could once again become a cause for concern.

If water restrictions are considered, it would be a first for College Station.

You can the track daily water usage for the City of College Station here.

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