Houston Pleas for Smarter Water Usage in the Wake of Drought

Summer has barely set in and the City of Houston has issued stage one conservation measures in the wake of the current drought in Texas:

City of Houston Implements Stage One Water Conservation Measures

Lack of rain and record high temperatures that have plagued 98 percent of the state have made it necessary for the City of Houston to institute Stage One Water Conservation Measures, as outlined in the city’s code.

Houston is asking its residents to limit lawn watering to the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. and NO more than two days per week.

Residents are asked to abide by the following schedule:

  • Sundays and Thursdays for customers with even-numbered street addresses
  • Saturdays and Wednesdays for customers with odd-numbered street addresses

The City will also be contacting large commercial water customers to request voluntary reductions in their water consumption.

City departments are instituting a water use reduction program which includes but is not limited to:

  • Reducing water use by 10 percent
  • Implementing corrective measures to eliminate water waste

While the City of Houston currently has adequate water capacity to meet the demands of its customers, the following tips can also help our customers be good water stewards during one of the most severe droughts in Texas history and into the future in a state where water is a precious and finite resource:

  • Keep showers under five minutes
  • Remember to turn water off while brushing your teeth
  • Wash only full loads of dishes or clothes
  • Replace older model showerheads and older faucet aerators with new low-flow ones, and install water conservative toilets
  • Inspect toilets for silent leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. If colored water leaks into the toilet bowl before it is flushed, water is being lost due to a worn flapper.

If you live in Houston and want more information on the city’s water conservation measures, please contact Alvin Wright at Alvin.Wright@houstontx.gov or call 832.395.2455.

The restrictions are the latest prompt in the series of drought related events and measures ranging from Rick Perry’s plea for divine intervention and the recent decision by the LCRA to extend the debate and final vote to approve a contract giving a water to the poorly planned White Stallion Energy Center.

The issuance by the city emphasizes personal responsibility in the face of questionable water availability and residents throughout the state should consider implementing water saving measures even in times were rain isn’t a distant memory.  Some utility companies offer incentives for installing low-flow systems, and conversion kits continue to get cheaper, so purchasing them at any time could reduce your monthly costs and help out the environment too.

Consider, purchasing a rain barrel to capture water when it does rain.  This can keep your gardening investments more viable in times of drought.  Consider landscaping decisions such as xeriscaping (using drought tolerant plants that need less water even in times when drought is not a consideration, and reduces some of you landscape maintenance), minimizing lawn space in favor of beds for plants or replacing thirstier grasses like the very popular St. Augustine for more drought resistant varieties.

Everyone knows Texas weather is one of the more unpredictable things in the world, so carefully monitoring and rationing water usage at all times is most definitely a good decision.