The wetter, cooler May-June has turned back into the customary hot, dry July, and our nearby lake levels are dropping accordingly.
Just a week ago, Corpus Christi officials announced that city was implementing stage 2 water restrictions.
The combined levels for Choke Canyon Reservoir and Lake Corpus Christi had fallen to 40 percent of capacity (now about 39 percent).
Then, on Monday, City of Beeville utility customers were requested to begin stage 3 water use restrictions.
That means lawn sprinklers can only be used one day a week on residents’ normal trash pickup days. Also, no yard watering will be allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on those days.
Stage 3 restrictions also mean persons cannot allow water to run off a property into streets or storm drains, and not allow water to flow constantly through a tap hydrant or valve.
Hand-held irrigation will be allowed at any time on any day, and drip irrigation is OK if the irrigation system is equipped with a shutoff nozzle.
Many residents lament the fact that our city relies on a surface water system from the lakes, which are plagued by high evaporation rates and mandated water releases into the Coastal Bend bays and estuaries.
We believe our city leaders understand their concern and are expected to begin implementing steps to use several water wells from the shallow Evangeline aquifer to create a supplemental water supply.
In the meantime, conservation is the key to survival (for both humans and our yards and gardens) in this semiarid region.
“Dryness has always been a problem for the western part of the state,” Corpus Christi water expert James Dodson said at the Beeville Rotary Club meeting last week.
“Groundwater has huge potential,” he said. He believes it’s the future for water development in the Coastal Bend – there’s fresh water in many of the water tables in the area and brackish water in other aquifers.
Dodson said the entire region needs to be ready to depend on multiple sources for its water in the future and the time to act is now. Many of us around here have been saying that for the last five years or more.