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What to Expect if Lubbock Tightens Water Restrictions to Stage 3

zdenadel, Flickr

The drought across Lubbock and West Texas is continuing and right now the City of Lubbock has enacted Stage 2 of the city’s Drought Contingency Plan. While the restrictions right now aren’t too onerous, here’s what you can expect if the city moves to Stage 3 later this year.

  • Residents and businesses will need to take proactive efforts to limit water runoff from irrigation.
  • Residents and businesses won’t be able to water their landscaping more than one day per month.  City code also states the irrigation cannot be more than 1.5 inches of water per zone. The City Manager, or his/her designee, may designate the irrigation schedule.
  • Use of water from fire hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting or other related activities necessary to maintain public health, safety and welfare. Basically, the flushing of water lines through fire hydrants will be very limited. Also, under the direction of the City Manager, use of water from fire hydrants for construction purposes may be allowed by permit.
  • All City of Lubbock operations will adhere to the water use restrictions.
  • Hand watering for landscape irrigation purposes is allowed on a daily basis regardless of the time of the year.

Realistically, if Stage 3 is enacted I think you’ll see grass and elaborate landscaping die off.  Also, the city is still allowing homes to top-off pools during the summer.  Currently, under Stage 2, residents are not allowed to drain and refill their pools, but as of  March 6, 2012, the Lubbock City Council approved their first reading of a new ordinance which would move that restriction to Stage 3.

Here are the events that would trigger the city moving to Stage 3 Water Restrictions:

  • Maximum day water use exceeds 100% of the City’s maximum daily supply capacity for five consecutive days.
  • Water supplies available from all sources are reduced down by 10% or more below projected needs.
  • Water availability from lakes and groundwater is well below normal, continue to decline and additional reductions in current or future water supplies are evident; or water supplies have been reduced due to the failure of one or more water supply systems.
  • If you’d like to read the City of Lubbock’s Water Use Management Plan (approved in 2010), click here.

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