Several other smaller communities across East Texas have already done it, and now bigger cities like the City of Tyler are asking for voluntary step one drought contingency measures.  With the recent news reports that the drought will last several more months, if not years, these measures are a good way to conserve water before mandatory restrictions are needed. More after the jump.

Drought Order In Place As The Southeast Suffers Water Shortage

The City of Tyler released the following statement:

Effective Sunday, Oct. 9, the City of Tyler Water Utilities Department is implementing voluntary “Step One” of the Drought Contingency Measures as outlined in Article X (Water Conservation/Emergency Demand Management Plan) of the City of Tyler Code of Ordinances.

“Although the City has not reached the consumption parameters outlined in the plan to warrant Step One Drought Measures, we feel that because of the dry weather conditions we have been experiencing, it is in the best interests of Tyler’s long term planning efforts to take this action at this time,” said Water Utilities Managing Director Greg Morgan.

Step One Drought Measures are typically taken when the average daily water consumption reaches 85 percent of the system’s production capacity. Tyler’s capacity is currently 72 million gallons per day; eight million gallons from deep water wells, 34 million gallons from Lake Tyler and Lake Tyler East and 30 million from Lake Palestine.

The peak use this year was on Aug. 15 when 49 million gallons were used. However, the average use this summer was 40.9 million gallons which is still well below the 85 percent consumption rate of 61.2 million gallons per day which triggers drought measures.

Voluntary Step One modified drought measures call for residents to voluntarily conserve water and limit irrigation of landscaped areas to Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for customers with a street address ending in an even number (0,2,4,6,8) or Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays for water customers with a street address ending in an odd number (1,3,5,7,9). Additionally, irrigation should be done between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Additional steps that the City will take under Step One include expedited repair of water line breaks, reducing flushing of water mains and discontinuing fire hydrant testing.

“The City of Tyler has a very stable, long-term water supply that is projected to serve us for the next 75 years,” added Morgan. “However, it is anticipated that the La Nina system that has led to the current dry conditions may last for at least another six to nine months and that overall drought conditions in the state of Texas could last for several years. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the community to take precautionary measures at this time.”

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