February 29, 2024

Austin Water is updating its drought contingency plan and holding a virtual meeting to get input from the public. The plan deals with how the city responds to drought, including restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. The current stage two restrictions allow residential sprinklers to run only once a week between specific hours. The plan also outlines when stage three and stage four restrictions would be implemented based on water levels in lakes Travis and Buchanan. In the updated plan, Austin Water is considering adding a new stage at 750,000 acre-feet to enable more prompt responses to changing water levels. They are also looking at offering more rebates to customers who take steps to conserve water, as well as enhancing enforcement measures. The virtual meeting for the public will take place on Tuesday evening, and attendees can ask questions and provide feedback on the current drought plan and proposed changes. In addition, there is a written questionnaire available for water customers to submit their ideas. The last drought contingency plan was approved in 2019, and Austin Water plans to submit the updated plan for approval in May 2024. The changes to the plan are necessary due to factors like changing climate and changing water usage as more people and businesses come to the community.

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