Water Wise Methods Still Required
On January 11, 2012, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Public Works and Engineering Department announce the City of Houston is lifting the mandatory water conservation measures imposed last summer. The move follows recent rains and cooler temperatures, which have increased lake levels in all three drinking water reservoirs. As the city continues to experience severe drought conditions, Houston residents are asked to continue voluntary water conservation.
Although pre-drought water reservoir levels have not been reached, the City’s combined reservoir storage has exceeded criteria established in City ordinances for mandatory conservation. Additionally, while ongoing breakage within the distribution system remains higher than normal due to continued ground movement with changing moisture conditions, the stress on the distribution system of last summer has been relieved and additional capacity for future repairs has been secured.
According to the National Weather Service, the Houston area remains in severe to exceptional drought. Coupled with long term predictions, it is clearly possible that Houston may experience an even more challenging summer this year than last. While surface water storage has recovered to an extent, it is unlikely that the City will have as much storage at start of summer this year as we had last year, leading to a likeliness that conservation measures will need to be reinstated. All water customers are strongly encouraged to practice and further develop water conservation efforts.
The following tips can also help our customers be good water stewards during one of the most severe droughts in Texas history.
Ways to use water wisely:
- Keep showers under five minutes. Water saved: 2 to 5 gallons per minute
- Remember to turn water off while brushing your teeth.
- Wash only full loads of dishes or clothes
- Replace older model showerheads and faucet aerators with new low-flow models and install low water use toilets.
- Inspect toilets for silent leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. If colored water leaks into the toilet bowl before flushing, water is being lost due to a worn flapper.
- Refrain from washing any vehicle or motorbike unless the dirt poses a driving hazard.
- Refrain from washing down any sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking lot or any other hard-surfaced area.
- Refrain from filling, refilling or adding water to any indoor or outdoor swimming pool, spa or whirlpool.
The Public Works and Engineering Department website offers valuable information to encourage residents to use water wisely, which will reduce the large demand on our water system. Using water wisely can not only save water, but also reduce water bills.