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City water restrictions curb water usage

Brian Cuaron

By Brian Cuaron
July 19, 2011 at 2:19 a.m.


Water usage has gone down after Victoria implemented mandatory restrictions a little more than a week ago.

The city implemented Stage 2 of its drought contingency plan on July 7. That included some mandatory water restrictions, which were last enacted in 2009.

Lynn Short, director of public works, told the Victoria City Council that compared to mid-June, residents have reduced their water-use by 16 percent.

Although there were other factors, Short credited the restrictions for helping bring that water-usage down.

Stage-2 restrictions were triggered when the city wasn't allowed to draw from the Guadalupe River when its water flow got too low.

So the city is now depending on its 10 water reservoirs as well as its water wells. Yet the city is only using three of its reservoirs since the rest aren't interconnected.

The city would have to use pumps to use the other seven reservoirs, Short said.

He added that Victoria had begun a study on how to interconnect the reservoirs and how much it would cost.

"I anticipate it'd be expensive," Short said.

The flow must be 300 cubic feet per second for the city to draw from the Guadalupe River in July. Short said the flow was around around 200, and that it didn't look like the city would revert back to voluntary water restrictions soon unless a tropical storm occurred.

Yet he said that the city wasn't anticipating immediately going into Stage 3 of its drought contingency plan, either. That would occur when the reservoirs reach 50-percent capacity.

Short also presented the council with a street inventory report. It rated the city's streets, and he said that the overall rating increased from the last inventory completed in 2009.

Mayor Will Armstrong said that he wouldn't support a tax decrease as long as residential streets remained in their current condition. He said bad streets could bring down property values.

"That's the backbone of the city's tax base," Armstrong said.

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