Victoria – The Drought Is Over! For Now…
The City of Victoria is lifting some of its drought restrictions, but residents must continue to conserve water by limiting some types of nonessential water usage to the cooler times of day.
The City had entered Stage III of its drought contingency plan in August because the water level City’s primary water reservoir, off-channel reservoir No. 8, dropped to 42 feet above mean sea level (about 50% of its total capacity). The decrease in water availability was due to a long period of low rainfall upstream, which caused the Guadalupe River level to drop and limited the City’s ability to pump water from the river.
Recent rainfall upstream has caused the Guadalupe River to rise, allowing the City to pump more water to help meet demand. As a result, the water level in off-channel reservoir No. 8 has risen to 52 feet above mean sea level for 14 consecutive days. Because of this, the City can now terminate Stage III of the drought contingency plan and re-enter Stage II.
Under Stage II of the plan, residents are no longer required to follow many of the Stage III restrictions, such as the limitation of watering to designated days. However, residents must continue to follow certain mandatory restrictions.
What must residents do to conserve water?
Under Stage II of the plan, residents are required to limit certain types of nonessential water usage to the hours of 6-10 a.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight to avoid water loss through evaporation. Activities that are limited to these times include using an automatic lawn sprinkler or hose-end sprinkler, filling pools and washing vehicles, although this restriction does not apply to commercial car washes and service stations.
Residents can water their lawns with hoses at any time of day, as long as the hose has a positive shut-off nozzle.
A full list of Stage II restrictions can be found at www.victoriatx.gov/droughtplan.
In addition, residents are asked to voluntarily reduce water use for nonessential purposes and to practice water conservation measures.
When will the restrictions be lifted?
The City will terminate Stage II restrictions and re-enter Stage One of the drought contingency plan after the flow of the Guadalupe River rises above the Stage II threshold for a period of 14 consecutive days. Under Stage One, all mandatory restrictions will be lifted and residents will be asked to continue voluntary water conservation measures. “Based on the weather and the river levels, we are hopeful that we will soon be able to lift the remaining mandatory restrictions if residents do their part to conserve water,” said Public Works Director Ken Gill.
About the drought contingency plan
The City of Victoria gets its water pumping permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s South Texas Watermaster Program, which determines when the City is allowed to pump water from the Guadalupe River and other water sources. As part of this program, the City is required to have a drought contingency plan that outlines steps that residents must take to conserve water during times of drought.
For more information about the drought contingency plan, visit www.victoriatx.gov/droughtplan or contact Public Works at 361-485-3381.