Drought Information

Drought Contingency Plan - Approved By City Council on April 22, 2019 

2019 Water Conservation / Drought Contingency Plan (PDF)

Stage 1 - Notice

Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan is activated every April or May notifying all customers that the time of year for potential droughts is here. This year the notice was included in the Water Quality Report.

Stage 2 - Voluntary

In Stage 2 of the Drought Contingency Plan, we request that each resident voluntarily take certain conservation measures. 

Stage 3 and 4 - Mandatory

In Stage 3 and Stage 4, which may follow as close as 3 days behind Stage 2 activation, there are mandatory measures, and repeat offenders may be fined up to $500 per incident per day.

Conservation Steps

In an effort to avoid activation of Stages 3 and 4, we are asking residents to conserve water and help us manage the water demand by following these easy steps. 

The drought contingency message is Do Not Waste Water. Use what you need but do not allow water to be wasted. This will make the biggest difference and will help us to achieve our water conservation goals. Please take the time to verify that your irrigation water is not running down the street. 

For more information on water conservation or the Drought Contingency Plan, contact Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor Mark Wahlstrom at 713-662-5873 or via email.

Following these steps, all year will aid us in managing water demand and help you in conserving water.

  1. Irrigation Conservation
  • Water your lawn between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Check your irrigation system to verify that your water is going on the lawn and not on your sidewalks, driveways, streets or walls. You may need to adjust the spray angles on the sprinkler heads.
  • Check your irrigation system through an entire cycle to verify that your water is staying on the lawn and soaking in, and not running down the street. You may need to water for a shorter time period and possibly more frequently allowing for the water to soak in and not run down the street.
  • Check your irrigation system for leaks:
    1. Turn on each area and walk through the area served to verify no water is running out of the ground, or shooting straight up into the air. You may have a broken pipe or a damaged sprinkler head.
    2. With the irrigation system off for at least 30 minutes, check each sprinkler head and verify that no water is coming out of the sprinkler head, if the water is coming out of the sprinkler head this indicates that one of the valves is not closing completely.
    3. Shortly after the irrigation system turns off walk through the yard looking for sand or dirt washed up by the sprinkler system this will indicate a leak in an underground pipe.
  1. Bathroom Conservation
  1. Kitchen Conservation
  1. Laundry Conservation
  1. Appliance Conservation

Drought Capacity

The following is the table used when determining the stages of drought in the area.

  • MGD stands for Millions of Gallons per Day
  • Safe Capacity is equivalent to 75% of the total production capacity. The safe capacity allows for the largest pump or well to be out of service and the system to maintain enough reserves to provide adequate fire protection.
  • The 3-day average may be above a drought stage activation level and the stage not be activated as the plan calls for 3 consecutive days above the activation level and not a 3-day average. This helps prevent erroneous activation in the case that there is an event, such as a water leak, which causes a high single day peak.
Safe Capacity MGD Maximum Capacity
Safe Capacity 6.480 MGD 75% of Maximum Capacity
80% Safe Capacity 5.184 MGD 3 Days - Initiate Stage 4
70% Safe Capacity 4.536 MGD 3 Days - Initiate Stage 3
60% Safe Capacity 4.212 MGD 3 Days - Initiate Stage 2
Current Demand 3.534 MGD Last 3 Days Average
Current % of Safe Capacity 54.5% Every April - Initiate Stage 1