With the ongoing drought throughout Texas, the Brazos River Authority has issued a Stage 2 Drought Warning declaration for the subsystem of reservoirs on the main stem of the Brazos River including Lakes Possum Kingdom, Granbury and Whitney.
The reservoirs are the surface water supply for numerous water users including municipalities, utility districts, agriculture, and industry including the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant at Glen Rose.
The Stage 2 Drought Warning is part of BRA’s Drought Contingency Plan. This plan, which is required by the state, is intended to help preserve and extend water supplies during drought conditions and includes strategies for temporary supply and demand management.
BRA has notified each of the Possum Kingdom-Granbury-Whitney subsystem customers that Stage 2 conservation efforts are in order to help make the water supply from the reservoirs last longer in light of continuing drought conditions.
At the Drought Warning stage, BRA requests that customers employ their own drought contingency plans by implementing a 10 percent reduction in water use that would have occurred under normal conditions.
The BRA’s DCP has four stages, ranging from 1-4 in level of severity that are marked by trigger points. For the Possum Kingdom-Granbury-Whitney subsystem, the Stage 2 trigger levels for Drought Warning conditions are initiated when the total storage capacity of the reservoirs reaches 420,968 acre-feet or about 60 percent of full capacity.
In Stage 2, the goal for water use reduction is 10 percent of the use that would have occurred in the absence of drought contingency measures. Among the steps to reduce that use, BRA encouraged the public to wait until the current drought has passed before establishing new landscaping and following mandatory landscape and outdoor water use restrictions needed to achieve the goal.
Sue Cathey, Possum Kingdom Water Supply Corp. business manager, said, under Stage 2, outside watering is restricted to the hours of 10 p.m.-8 a.m.; washing of cars is allowed if the hose has a shut off; and there will be no washing of driveways, sidewalks, walls or other outside structures.
“Violations will also include residential use of more than 20,000 gallons per month for two consecutive months,” Cathey said, adding that the penalty would be $100 per violation.
There are also some rate changes, she said, explaining that for residential use, there is no change in the rates for use of 10,000 gallons or less per billing cycle.
“For use over 10,000 gallons, rates can be increased from 1.5 times to 3.5 times,” she said.