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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Ongoing drought brings more usage limits

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Sept. 5, 2013 at 4:05 a.m.


September is here, and cooler temperatures will follow. But the temperature is not the first thing to drop in the Crossroads. The water level of the Guadalupe River has been in a steady decline this summer. Now, the city of Victoria has decided to implement Stage III water restrictions, which began Sunday.

The city has already been pumping water from a well into the Guadalupe in an effort to buffer the river level. But the river's flow has fallen below 200 cubic feet per second for 14 consecutive days, which resulted in the move to Stage III restrictions.

The city of Victoria's website has a comprehensive list of Stage III requirements. Under Stage III: • Landscaped areas, such as golf course greens and personal lawns, can only be watered on designated days (Sundays and Thursdays for those with even-numbered street addresses and Saturdays and Wednesdays for odd addresses) between the hours of 6 to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight. Areas can water at any time if a handheld hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle, handheld bucket or watering can of 5 gallons or less, or drip irrigation system is used.

• Residents may not wash vehicles except from 6 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. when using a bucket or handheld hose with a positive shutoff nozzle. Commercial car washes can operate at any time.

• Residents may only fill, refill or add water to pools or Jacuzzi-type pools from 6 to 10 a.m. and 6 to midnight.

• Golf course tees and fairways may only be watered if the course uses a different source than city water.

• Ornamental fountains and pools may not be operated unless they support aquatic life or use a recirculating system.

• Restaurants may not serve water unless it is requested.

Stage III restrictions also say water may not be used to wash sidewalks, parking lots or other hard surface areas; wash buildings or structures; control dust; flush gutters; and may not accumulate in the street, and any leaks must be repaired within 15 days of notification.

The city will remain under Stage III restrictions until the Guadalupe River's flow remains above 200 cubic feet per second for at least 14 consecutive days. We encourage residents to keep Victoria's present situation in mind when using water every day. Take shorter showers, wash dishes by hand and take whatever measures are necessary to conserve water. We are a long way from the end of this drought, and we must take whatever measures we can to conserve water.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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