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Victoria enters first stage of drought plan

May 2, 2012 at 12:02 a.m.
Updated May 3, 2012 at 12:03 a.m.


Water Conservation Practices:

  1. Water the lawn only when it is necessary. Learn to know when grass needs watering. If it has turned a dull gray-green or if footprints remain visible, it is time to water.

  2. Water the lawn early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid unnecessary evaporative loss.

  3. Use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist, to avoid evaporation.

  4. To avoid evaporation, turn soaker hoses so the holes are on the bottom.

  5. Water slowly for better absorption and never water on windy days.

  6. Avoid watering the street, sidewalks or driveways.

  7. Do not water too frequently. Too much water can overload the soil so that air cannot get to the roots and can encourage plant diseases.

  8. Do not over water. Soil can absorb only so much moisture and the rest simply runs off. A timer will help, and either a kitchen timer or an alarm clock will do. An inch of water, applied once a week, will keep most Texas grasses alive and healthy.

  9. Raise the cutting height on your lawnmower. The longer blades of grass will provide shade for the root system and make the turf more drought resistant.

For this time of year, the Guadalupe River flow is "well below its normal level," the city of Victoria announced Wednesday.

Stage One of the city's Drought Contingency Plan went into effect Wednesday, urging residents to voluntarily reduce the use of water for non-essential purposes and to practice water conservation measures to reduce the amount of water they are consuming.

Under the city's 1998 surface water permit, it must limit pumping to no more than 10 percent of the river flow when the level of the river is below normal, according to a news release from the city.

"Victoria residents should conserve water every day, but be extra conscious of their water usage as we transition into the warmer, dryer months of the year," said Lynn Short, director of Public Works, said in the news release.

Until the flow in the Guadalupe River rises to a normal level for 14 consecutive days, the city will remain in the first stage of the drought contingency plan. If the river level falls to its minimum level for this time of the year, the city would enter the second stage of the drought contingency plan which involves mandatory water restrictions.

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