AUSTIN (KXAN) — Another wave of triple-digit temperatures means that locals are likely to use more water to keep themselves cool.
Yet, the drought is putting a strain on the City of Austin’s water supply.
In southwest Austin, Greg Miller woke up to a steady stream of wasted water flowing down the street in his neighborhood.
“We noticed a slight water pressure drop in and our neighbors did as well,” he said. “Then the water was cut off today for maybe half an hour to an hour I’d say.”
In 100-degree weather, Austin Water crews have been working to fix the problem, shutting off the neighborhood’s water supply for a few hours while it gets repaired.
“The big concern is the waste of water during this unprecedented heat wave and drought,” Miller said.
This comes when water conservation efforts are already in effect citywide.
Perry Fowler is the executive director of the Texas Water Infrastructure Network, a member-driven organization that promotes the interests of all aspects of Texas water construction markets.
“Every drop we lose is really unfortunate because that’s water that we could be using elsewhere,” he said. “To have it just disappear is really unfortunate.”
Fowler also says these extreme temperatures have caused many leaks.
“The ground is dry and brittle and some of these pipes are older,” he added. “When they’re older, they’re more susceptible to that ground shifting and moving.”
KXAN reached out to Austin Water about these issues.
In a statement, a representative said the following: “Due to record triple-digit temperatures, Austin Water continues to see an increase in the number of leaks this summer.”
Monday, Austin Water reported 30 leaks in the city.
Back on July 8, it only had nine leaks to fix.
Experts say you can expect to see that number continue to climb.
“The fact of the matter is, is we’re going to have more of these incidents occurring as we continue to experience these conditions,” Fowler concluded.
Adding to the problem, Austin Water is dealing with staffing issues.
The public utility is rotating repair crews around the clock to fix problems quickly – and looking to address the issue more in next year’s budget.