Friday, July 13, 2012

Austin Moves to Twice a Week Watering

Twice a week watering is now back, starting Monday, Statesman.com reports.  The city of Austin has decided to go to Stage 1 watering restrictions (we've been in Stage 2 since September 6th, 2011), because the lakes have seen higher levels.
The biggest difference between Stage 2 and Stage 1 is that you can now run a sprinkler system twice a week.  Restaurants can also serve customers water instead of having to wait for the customer to ask.  Travis County is still under severe drought conditions, but because winter and spring were wetter than expected and replenished lakes Travis and Buchanan a little bit, and the forecast is for more rain, the restrictions were eased.

Another concern was that Austin's trees need more water and were under duress because of the dry conditions.  1,200 trees on city land are estimated to have died last year due to the drought.  New conservation policies will likely be passed in August to make tree watering easier in a drought.  It will allow people to install a drip irrigation system which they can use whenever they want.  This is because the drip irrigation systems are much better at getting water to trees and waste a lot less.

The twice a week watering will now only allow people to water before 5am and after 7pm to prevent water being lost to evaporation.  Under the old rules, watering was allowed until 10am.

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