Starting Monday, Austin residents will be able to water two days a week under Stage I restrictions. Stage II water restrictions had been in effect since last September.
The city says wetter than expected conditions this past winter and spring have increased the storage volumes of Lakes Travis and Buchanan. And those levels will be better maintained this year because water is being cut off to rice farmers downstream under the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Emergency Drought Plan.
Despite the improvement in water storage levels, Central Texas remains under drought conditions. But Austin Water spokesperson Jason Hill says it’s important for customers to be able to take care of landscaping as we head into the hottest part of the summer.
“Our Austin Water customers have proven that they are responsible water users and we expect and we’re confident that our customers will continue to be mindful about their water use while being able to protect landscaping investments and the health of our tree canopy,” Hill says.
The new watering schedule is a little more restrictive the previous Stage I rules. The water utility writes:
The new watering schedule will limit all watering hours to before 5:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. on designated days, a recommendation resulting from the public input process on proposed changes to the Water Use Management Ordinance. For residential customers watering days are Wednesdays and Saturdays for odd numbered addresses and Thursdays and Sundays for even numbered addresses. For commercial and multi-family customers watering days are Tuesdays and Fridays.
The change reflects a proposal expected to be presented to the City Council next month.