Residents may soon be asked to limit water use
May 11, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.
MONEY APPROVED FOR RESERVOIR STUDYCouncilman Tom Halepaska said he hopes an engineering study on the city's 10 water reservoirs will come back with a low-cost way on how to connect them.
The city council approved $60,000 for the study on May 3. Only three of the reservoirs are currently connected.
Lynn Short, director of public works, said the city can use water in the other reservoirs - filled with surface water, rain water, ground water and flash floods - but that it is labor intensive and time consuming.
The city currently must use temporary pumps to bring water from the seven un-connected reservoirs back into its water treatment plant. Three of these reservoirs can have water pumped underneath a road, while the rest must have a pipe run on top of a road.
Halepaska said that he hopes the study comes up with a low-cost solution such as siphoning that relies on gravity to transport the water. Regardless of the cost, he said the city must take action.
Short said, "It's important to connect them so we can make use all of our storage capacity to help us react to drought conditions."
Voluntary water restrictions may soon be coming for Victoria residents.
The city council is expected to approve on Tuesday measures to begin water restrictions. If drought conditions continue, then city officials will ask residents to voluntarily limit their water use 10 days after the measure is approved, said Lynn Short, director of public works.
The current drought contingency plan calls for residents to voluntarily limit their water use once the city is no longer allowed to draw from the Guadalupe River. Once the city's water reservoirs reach 50 percent capacity, then the plan calls for mandatory restrictions.
However, the city is only allowed to draw 10 percent of the river's water flow since it has fallen under its normal flow of 687 cubic feet per second.
The proposed drought contingency plan calls for voluntary restrictions once that occurs.
The proposed plan also enacts mandatory restrictions when the city can no longer draw from the river.
Short said these measures will prolong the city's ability to withstand a drought like the one it's now experiencing.
Councilman Tom Halepaska said that he expects people to cooperate.
"The general public realizes that when things get tough we need to cut back," he said.