Despite the fact we've had a normal amount of rainfall this year, the Amarillo city government is considering starting stage one of our drought contingency plan.
The plan can be initiated for a range of reasons including, water shortages, infrastructure repairs or using too much water.
The reason it is being considered now is because during last week's heat, the city set a record for the most amount of water consumed in a day.
Currently, Amarillo can produce approximately 100 million gallons of water per day. On June 14, we consumed a 92.6 million gallons of water.
When our daily use stays above 70%, the city is encouraged by the utilities department to adopt stage one of our drought contingency plan.
The first stage is completely voluntary and serves more as a reminder for people to be conscious of their water consumption.
"There's no reason to panic, we still have water but there is a production limit of 100 million gallons a day," said Jonathan Gresham the Assistant Director of Utilities. "When we have these high temperature days, we use 70-80 million gallons of water, which is closing in on our production limits."
During the summer months, the average water usage doubles from approximately 31 million gallons per day to 62 million.
This is largely due to outdoor watering for grass, gardens, and landscaping.
If we consume above 80% of the city's production limit for five consecutive days, the Utilities Department will recommend going to stage two in the drought plan. This is the highest stage Amarillo has ever reached and requires mandatory outdoor water reduction.
Here are some tips you can do to help conserve water and prevent us from reaching stage two in the drought contingency plan:
- Avoid cleaning the driveway and sidewalk with water.
- If you plan to wash your car, stop the hose when soaping the vehicle.
- Set your sprinkler system to water between sundown and 10:00 AM.
- Check your system once a month to ensure there are no leaks or misguided sprinkler heads.
- Replace sprinkler heads with large droplet sprinklers.
- Use mulch on all landscape areas.
- Do full loads of laundry or use the small load setting when appropriate.
- Use faucet aerators.
- Check appliances for leaks, toilet sinks and showers.
- Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving.
- Turn off shower while soaping.
- Switch to low water consumption appliances.