Stage 1 drought restrictions in effect in Corpus Christi
Stage one drought restrictions are in effect, announced Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni at an outdoor press conference at O.N. Stephens Water Treatment Plant Monday, Dec. 28. Restrictions, which went into effect the same day as the press conference, aim at reducing water usage system wide by at least 10 percent.
“Officially our levels at Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon Reservoir are below 40 percent — at 39.8 percent — as of this morning,” Zanoni said. “Effective immediately I am declaring a stage one drought situation.”
The last time Corpus Christi implemented stage one drought restrictions was in June 2018. That lasted for three months. According to predictions from the National Weather Service, this drought will last at least that long, if not longer. The lake and reservoir will have to reach over 50 percent combined storage level to rescind the stage one restrictions.
The conservation measure that will most affect city residents is a restriction on watering lawns. Residents may only water lawns one day a week — the same day as trash pickup. Water can only occur between 6 p.m.-10 a.m. No watering is allowed during the middle of the day.
Commercial entities face the same restrictions, but may not have the same trash day. They should observe others in their neighborhood and water on the day that most trash is picked up.
Hand watering is allowed any time of the day. Home foundation watering can be done the day following lawn irrigation either by hand or by drip irrigation.
Residents also are being asked to avoid water run-off on streets and sidewalks, to check for water leaks at home, and to only wash full loads of clothes or dishes. Other tips can be found on the city’s water conservation web page.
Car washes and commercial nurseries are not affected until stage two kicks in, which is when lake levels drop to 30 percent.
Fines of up to $500 a day can be levied on anyone violating the regulations.
“We are not in this to write people tickets,” Zanoni said. “Our goal is to help educate and to conserve.”
He said city staff will be working to notify everyone using city water, which includes homes, businesses, and industry in seven counties, covering a population of 500,000.
“The key thing to know is the the drought has been going on and that the lake and reservoir levels are fives inches below normal,” Zanoni said. “We will need major rain events in the watershed to make a difference.”
Stage two restrictions go into effect if the combined storage levels go below 30 percent. Stage three kicks in at 20 percent, and stage 4, emergency water shortage conditions, begin when the city manager determines an emergency exists.
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