For the first time in years, the lakes that provide Austin with its water supply are pretty much full. That’s good news, but as our water utility warns, it’s not the time to just sit back and relax.
“One of the classic kind of patterns that communities get into is you care deeply about water conservation when the lakes are low, and then you abandon those practices when the lakes are high,” Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros told the City Council, as reported in the Austin American-Statesman.
Last week, City Council made a major step to change that, by approving permanent one-day-per-week watering restrictions for automatic sprinkler systems. Drip irrigation and hand held watering will be allowed at any time.
During our latest drought, one-day-per-week watering was already the norm, and as the Austin American-Statesman reports, it saved 115,000 acre-feet of water between 2011 and 2015, more than any other conservation measure.