AUSTIN (KXAN) - More than 570 residents east of Manor off Highway 290 cannot turn on their sprinklers anymore. Travis County Municipal Utility District 2 surprised their customers with stage three water restriction notices Tuesday.
"This is gonna be our new method of watering,” said Tess Peterson while coiling up the water hose in her thriving backyard garden.
Her hyacinth bean wrapped around the large columns on her back porch are not having any problems surviving in the drought.
"The hotter and the drier it is, the more it blooms,” said Peterson.
She turned off the timer on her automatic sprinkler system that has kept the garden growing. The hose will have to do in the morning and evening hours twice a week. The sudden move by MUD 2 followed a significant drop in water well production, according to South West Water Company. Peterson is counting on neighbors to comply.
"We may get to the point where we can't water outside at all,” said Peterson.
Water customers in Liberty Hill have already been cut off from all outdoor watering, whose water supply also comes from wells.
The majority of Central Texas cities have implemented mandatory stage two restrictions which limit customers to watering on certain days at certain times. Stage two restrictions are not cut and dry for each utility district.
The Lower Colorado River Authority, which supplies much of the region’s water from the Highland Lakes, said each of their customers create their own drought contingency plans.
When LCRA told their customers to enforce mandatory water restrictions, it was up to the municipalities and utilities to decide which stage to implement.
"Check with your local provider, look at your water bill and find the phone number on there or the website," said LCRA Spokesperson Emlea Chanslor.
LCRA has also tried to clear up confusion on their website by posting links to individual customer and utiliy restrictions. LCRA would like to see each customer reduce water usage by 25-percent.
Peterson’s rainwater collection system in her backyard will help get through the crack down on water usage. One of her 75-gallen collection tanks still has rainwater inside, which she will be relying on heavily until the restrictions are lifted.
LCRA does not plan on lifting mandatory restrictions until 20-inches of rain falls in the HIghland Lakes. If the drought continues, customers can expect to cut back on water usage even more.
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