A week later, Waco water conservation plan off to a good start, utility official says

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Seven days in and the city of Waco is already seeing a decrease in the amount of daily water loss at Lake Waco, the city’s reservoir.

The city is looking to reduce the daily amount of water loss by five percent.

“It’s not a huge decrease, but it does require, predominantly, people to water, use water outside a lot less than what they’re normally allowed to,” said City of Waco Utility Services Director Lisa Tyre.

Lake Waco currently sits at 69.3 percent capacity as of July 20 and loses nearly 100 million gallons of water daily to evaporation alone.

According to KWTX Chief Meteorologist Brady Taylor, since conservation efforts began, Lake Waco is retaining an extra 4.8 million gallons of water per day. That’s nearly the five percent increase the city is looking for.

“When we get the community to actually participate and do all of this, and our surrounding communities, it can have a meaningful impact,” said Tyre.

Tyre says it’s important for people to conserve early, rather than late, highlighting the importance of keeping neighbors accountable during this time.

Along with neighborhood watch, the city will also be monitoring water usage through billing and consumption patterns.

Anyone found going against the conservation plan can expect a warning before a monetary fine.

“We’ve had really good compliance with this. If you drive around town, you’re not seeing everyone watering in the middle of the day. I think, overall, people are stepping up and doing their part,” said Tyre, who commended those following the conservation plan.

The city hopes the lake level will rise to 455 by next month, but Tyre said it doesn’t look promising based on continued heat predictions. It currently sits at 454.42. The current level of 454.42 and anticipated goal of 455 represent the average water level in feet. The water level is the elevation of the top surface for a body of water.

City officials are looking to stay in stage two for as long as they can but say stage three is a consideration.

Stage 2 rules to follow: moderate water shortage

• No watering daily between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

• Odd numbered addresses water on Tuesdays and Saturdays

• Even numbered addresses water on Wednesdays and Sundays

• Business owners can water on Mondays and Fridays

• There is no watering allowed by anyone on Thursdays (hand-watering allowed all days of the week.)

Stage 3 rules to follow: severe water shortage

• No watering daily between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

• Last digit address watering schedule: 0,1 on Monday. 2, 3 on Tuesday. 4, 5 on Wednesday. 6, 7 on Thursday. 8, 9 on Friday. No watering allowed on Saturday and Sunday to allow for storage recovery days.

• Water features like pools, hot tubs, fountains and spas may be replenished with a hand-held hose. This is to maintain operational purposes only.

• New construction on any water feature is prohibited.

• Washing down buildings, sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches, parking areas and other paved surfaces is prohibited.

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