Austin Implements Stage 2 of Drought Contingency Plan

Austin, Texas – Water storage levels in Lakes Travis and Buchanan have fallen below 900,000 acre-feet, prompting the City of Austin to enforce stage 2 water restrictions effective Tuesday, August 15, as reported today.

Kevin Critendon, the assistant director of Austin Water, acknowledges that Austin has been experiencing drought conditions for an extended period. In fact, Austin Water had already implemented stage one drought restrictions on June 22, in line with their water conservation plan. “It is evident that the Austin community has been grappling with this issue. Our water conservation plan calls for the implementation of stage one drought restrictions. We are now moving into stage two,” highlights Critendon.

Austin Water has identified various prohibitions under the stage two water restrictions, including the prohibition of water waste, charity car washes, and the operation of large fountains. However, the most significant impact on residents will be the adjustment in allowable irrigation times and the reduction to once-a-week watering. Critendon emphasizes, “As we transition into stage two, residents will experience changes in the irrigation schedule. Irrigation times will be shortened, and watering will only be permitted once a week.”

To mitigate the water shortage, Austin has implemented a council-approved drought contingency plan, which includes an outdoor watering schedule to conserve water. Critendon further adds, “The outdoor watering schedule is determined by the address. Residents can access the schedule on our website by inputting their address and obtaining the relevant information.”

Additional guidelines have been put in place to enforce the water restrictions. Under these guidelines, restaurants will serve water to customers only upon request. Patio misters at restaurants and bars are permitted to operate between 4 p.m. and midnight. Moreover, automatic irrigation runtime has been restricted to three hours.

Violators of the water restrictions will not be exempt from penalties. Critendon warns, “While our primary objective is to raise awareness and encourage voluntary compliance, those found violating the restrictions may face fines of up to $1,000.” To ensure compliance, enforcement crews have been deployed. Critendon asserts, “We have an enforcement patrol dedicated to monitoring compliance. As we enter stage two, we have increased the patrol’s human resources to ensure a more rigorous implementation.”

For comprehensive information regarding the Austin Water drought response, residents are urged to visit the website

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