Drought conditions mean more water restrictions for Center | Community Spirit
Center, TX residents who are on the city's water system are now restricted from outdoor watering on days other than Saturdays.
A release from the city says that because of the statewide impact of this drought, the state is notifying all surface water right holders of the priority of uses and required regulations.
Specific to the Neches River Basin, which includes Lake Pinkston, water rights permits are being prioritized and junior rights, including Center’s, have been notified of mandatory conservation limits for outdoor watering. As a result, the City Council modified its drought contingency plan to comply with this notice. Mandatory compliance with the once a week watering schedule is required according to the state notice and will begin to be enforced.
Despite recent rainfall, the region remains in an extraordinary drought condition and has endured the worst annual rainfall deficit since 1956. “Lake Center was not capable of producing any water supply prior to the last months’ rains but has come up several inches,” stated Chad Nehring, Center’s City Manager. Lake Pinkston too has risen in level from the recent rains but remains roughly ten feet below normal water level. “While we are receiving rain to replenish our lakes, now is the time that we need to be as conservative as possible with the water we have,” urged Mayor David Chadwick.
These added watering restrictions are an enhancement of currently implemented watering and use standards with the goals of conserving the water resources currently available and postponing the initiation of rationing and more stringent use regulations. Stage 3 is required to be initiated when it is determined the system has less than 180 days of available raw water for treatment. This final stage of the drought plan includes emergency rates with cost increases based on level of usage as well as usage limitations on certain types of commercial customers. If we do not receive continued, significant rainfall, it is currently anticipated that Stage 3 restrictions will be implemented by spring 2012.
The City continues to explore all available short and long-term options to secure an adequate supply of raw water in the event that rainfall is not substantial enough to guarantee ample volume in the lakes to meet next summer’s projected demand. “We appreciate the cooperation of all our customers to reduce water use and any possible waste of this precious resource,” stated Mayor Chadwick.