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water status update from the City of Austin

Posted by scorpionis on 2009.10.11 at 10:45
Current Location: 78704
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Manager's Update

Your water conservation efforts are still vital

Well some time has passed since I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and get a new message out, and for that I apologize. It’s been a whirlwind of activity these past few weeks, with the adoption of our 2010 budget, continued discussions about Water Treament Plant 4, and of course all the events of the Austin City Limits festival this past weekend.

The rain has certainly been a welcome sight these past few weeks, even if it did cause some troubles for the Zilker lawn and ACL Fest. I can assure you that our parks professionals have a solid plan in place to get the lawn back to where it was prior to the event.

As we look around at our treasured parks and green spaces, everything appears lush and thriving. It’s hard to remember that we are still in the midst of a record regional drought – the worst in decades.

On Oct. 1, we made the decision to keep Stage 2 Mandatory Outdoor Watering Restrictions. Normally, Austin begins Stage 1 Watering Restrictions every year on May 1 because of the seasonal warm weather, lifting them on Oct. 1.But this isn’t a normal year.

If you look at the US Drought Monitor almost all of Texas from Austin south to the valley is in an extreme or exceptional drought. A continuing drought situation won’t just affect Austin – it will affect the millions of people in South Texas who depend on water for their jobs, their families and their futures.

By working with regional partners like the Lower Colorado River Authority and our fellow municipal water users, we can mitigate the worst effects of the drought through strict water conservation. One of the easiest ways to conserve water is being responsible when we water our landscapes.

Our Stage 2 schedule supports ample water for you to keep trees and other landscape plants healthy, so even if the weather turns dry and hot again, your lawn should not experience too much distress. (To find out more about conserving water and having a healthy lawn and garden, visit http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/greengarden.

Please do familiarize yourself with the residential and commercial watering schedules, take a look at some of the other conservation measures in place, and don’t hesitate to call 3-1-1 if you see someone ignoring the regulations.

On one other note, remember the old saying that “floods break droughts.” We have seen a lot of rain in Austin recently, but if heavy rains begin to our north or south, exercise caution when navigating roadways, particularly low water crossings. If a road is under water, don’t take the risk of driving through it – turn around, don’t drown.

Thanks for helping us help our regional partners preserve Texas’ water future for everyone. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

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