Despite lake levels, mandatory water restrictions take effect May 1

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by ALBERT RAMON / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @AlbertR_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on April 30, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Updated Thursday, May 6 at 10:46 AM

Persistent rainfall over the last several months, has allowed Lake Travis to be over 100 percent full and Lake Buchanan continues to rise. But the weather pattern is shifting from damp to dry.

"If you start looking long-term, going in to the summer, El Nino is fading and we see La Nina on the horizon. We're just starting to see many factors that are pointing towards a drier than normal pattern that is starting to come back in to our weather picture," said Bob Rose, Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist.

With drier days ahead, mandatory water restrictions start Saturday. Although the current water supply is good, conservation now may help us be prepared for the future.

"We'll be able to hopefully postpone or not have to go into drought conditions. No one wants that. But we're on the cusp of an arid region and our weather is going to vary day to day. And we may be entering into a drought period, hopefully unlike the one in 2007 to 2009, as early as this summer," said Dr. Bob Larsen, Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District board president.

Here's what the mandatory watering schedule looks like in Austin. No watering on Mondays. Business can water on Tuesdays and Fridays. People with an street address ending in an odd number may water on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Residents with even-numbered street addressed water on Thursdays and Sundays.

The mandatory watering schedule affects customers of LCRA and Austin.  Cedar Park resident are under a voluntary twice-a-week watering schedule.

Along with restricted outdoor watering, conservation indoors can save billions of gallons every year -- from fixing leaky faucets, shower heads even running toilets.

"A leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water a day. That's not only water flushed down the drain, (but) that's also a waste of money for home owners. So you can either repair leaky fixtures, like toilets or showers heads or faucets, or you can replace them with more water efficient toilets," said Suzanne Zarling, LCRA executive manager of water services.

Easy fixes inside and outdoors will save you money and conserve our water supply for what could be another hot and dry summer.

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This story was modified to clarify Cedar Park under a voluntary watering schedule, rather than a mandatory one.

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