81° F Saturday, June 24, 2017

By Earl Foster

LMUD General Manager

Water Wise

March 1 has come and gone, and the emergency order the Lower Colorado River Authority submitted to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is in effect

Because the combined storage of lakes Travis and Buchanan is not above 850,000 acre feet, there will be no releases to interruptible customers. We can breathe a little easier knowing that the lakes will not be drawn down to historical low levels this summer. However, we are starting off with low levels for the second year in a row, and those levels will continue to fall even lower without significant rainfall this spring and summer.

Cities, municipal utility districts and water supply corporations are dealing with yet another year of water restrictions and enforcement because of the severe drought.

You can make a difference in several small ways.

Not leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth and shorter showers would definitely help. Things like low flow toilets, shower heads and low flow appliances also make a difference.

Beyond those suggestions, it is even more important that we remind you of an even bigger way to help, which is lawn watering. Most of us water our lawns on a weekly basis and follow the watering schedule for our district. Did you know that if you water twice a week your lawn can survive on an inch of water per week? You should also be checking your sprinkler systems monthly for leaks, broken sprinklers, water pooling in the yard or even run-off. All of these things will use significantly more water than necessary. So please be diligent in your watering and don’t use any more water than necessary.

In February, I attended a coalition meeting in Burnet along with several other utilities and was asked to speak about the ways that Lakeway is conserving water.

I explained our two-day irrigation schedule, our low flow toilet and shower head program with LCRA and our water watch program that allows customers to call in and report others for irrigating on the wrong days. A gentleman from Spicewood Beach spoke about his conservation as well. He said he takes what he calls “Army showers.” He washes his dishes in a tub and uses that water to water his plants because he has no water to water his yard. This gentleman only lives 20 miles upstream from us, and his community has to have water hauled in every day or there would be none.

Water shortages and groundwater depletion are some of the most serious environmental issues we face as a community. Our water supply is shrinking at an alarming rate as you can tell by the low lake levels, and a community that is only 20 miles upstream from us is already out of water.

Water conservation is defined as a reduction in water use accomplished by the implementation of water conservation measures. Good water management practices will reduce or enhance the beneficial use of water.

Water conservation is an action or behavioral change implemented to reduce water waste so please do your part.

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