voluntary and mandatory water restrictions go into eect. In case of emergency
During drought situations, plans are put in place to better conserve water. A drought contingency plan used by the city of Houston determines when
the hosing of paved areas, buildings, windows and any hard-surfaced areas; the operation of ornamental fountains; and the washing or rinsing of vehicles by hose. However, the city announced it rescinded all of its drought restrictions on Aug. 29, cit- ing well levels and rainfall outlook. Historically, cities like West University Place have followed the city of Houston, updating their drought con- tingency plans as Houston does. As of late August, West University Place was at Stage 2 of its own contingency plan, which is similar to Stage 1 in Houston and calls for volun- tary limitations. To get to Stage 2, the Hous- ton’s combined total storage of surface water would have to fall lower than a 24-month supply. At that point, manda- tory restrictions would take e ect.
Water use reduction goal: 5%
Water use reduction goal: 10%
Water use reduction goal: 20%
Water use reduction goal: 35%
What it means: • Water restrictions are voluntary. • Residents are asked to limit outdoor watering to twice a week between 7 p.m.-5 a.m. • The water supply system is under stress.
What it means: • Water restrictions under Stage 1 are now mandatory. • Outdoor water use that results in water leaving a customer’s property is illegal. • The combined total storage of surface water supply is less than 24 months.
water bills, he said. “Because it is so hot, the crops are susceptible to evap- oration,” he said. “It’s tougher to get a deeper watering.” The city of Houston and smaller cities such as Bellaire and West University Place follow protocols intended to help preserve water during droughts. Drought contin- gency plans adopted in each city serve as road maps for how to implement conserva- tion measures based on how What it means: • All outdoor water use is illegal. • Customers using water for production and protection of primary business products are excluded. • The combined total storage of surface water supply is less than 18 months.
What it means: • All outdoor water use is illegal. • The use of more than 4,000 gallons per month by a single-family customer is illegal. • The combined total storage of surface water supply is less than 12 months.
SOURCE: CITY OF HOUSTON COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
increase the risk of wildres, Nielsen-Gammon said. The NOAA gauges how severe a drought is accord- ing to a system that ranks droughts along ve dierent levels. As of Aug. 22, parts of western Harris County were ranked D3, or “extreme,” alongside 35.4% of the state. The eastern part of the coun- try was ranked D2, or “severe,” with 23.2% of the state. Under D3, soil has large cracks, and moisture is very
low, resulting in decreased crop yield for crops that need irrigation, such as leafy vege- tables, bulb vegetables, roots and tubers. Water resources The drought and heat take another nancial toll when it comes to the price of water, Shinneman said. The farms are all connected to city of Houston water, and hotter temperatures combined with the lack of rain mean higher
severe the drought is. As of Aug. 30, Houston remained in the rst stage of its plan, which calls for vol- untary restrictions in water use on behalf of citizens. The city is encouraging peo- ple to limit outdoor watering to twice a week between 7 p.m.-5 a.m. Other Houston-area cit- ies temporarily made their restrictions mandatory. The city of Katy entered Stage 3 of its plan Aug. 5, prohibiting
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
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