PHOTO: The Guadalupe River flows past the Riverside Park boat ramp Nov. 27.
The City of Victoria is lifting some of its drought restrictions, but residents must continue to conserve water by limiting some types of nonessential water usage to the cooler times of day.
The City entered Stage III of its drought contingency plan in July when the water level in the City’s primary reservoir dropped to 42 feet above mean sea level (about 50% of its total capacity).
This decrease was due to a long period of low rainfall across the region, which limited the City’s ability to pump water from the Guadalupe River and also led to increased demand from residents watering their lawns during the drought.
Recent rainfall has allowed the City to pump more water and has helped to reduce demand. As a result, the water level in the primary reservoir has risen to 52 feet above mean sea level for 14 consecutive days. Because of this, the City can now terminate Stage III of the drought contingency plan and re-enter Stage II.
What must residents do to conserve water?
Under Stage II of the plan, residents are no longer required to follow many of the Stage III restrictions, such as the limitation of watering to designated days. However, residents still must limit the following activities to the hours of 6-10 a.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight:
- Using an automatic lawn sprinkler or hose-end sprinkler
- Filling pools
- Washing vehicles (this restriction does not apply to commercial car washes and service stations)
Residents can water their lawns with hoses at any time of day, as long as the hose has a positive shut-off nozzle.
When will the restrictions be lifted?
The City will terminate Stage II restrictions and re-enter Stage One of the drought contingency plan after the flow of the Guadalupe River rises above its “low flow” threshold for 14 consecutive days. The “low flow” threshold is defined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and varies from month to month.
Under Stage One, all mandatory restrictions will be lifted and residents will be asked to practice voluntary water conservation.
About the drought contingency plan
The City of Victoria gets its water pumping permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s South Texas Watermaster Program, which determines when the City is allowed to pump water from the Guadalupe River and other water sources. As part of this program, the City is required to have a drought contingency plan that outlines steps that residents must take to conserve water during times of drought.
For more information about the drought contingency plan, visit www.victoriatx.gov/droughtplan or contact Public Works at 361-485-3380.