Amarillo continuing to prepare its drought contingency plan

Amarillo continuing to prepare its drought contingency plan
Amarillo is continuing to prepare in case it needs to enact its drought contingency plan. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo is continuing to prepare in case it needs to enact its drought contingency plan.

The City of Amarillo's drought contingency plan consists of five stages that assess critical points in demand and how it relates to water supply.

The City of Amarillo can safely produce 118 million gallons of water per day that comes from five different sources.

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Although they've yet to implement the plan this year, they want residents to know their efforts can help in advance.

"Water conservation is always important to us and we encourage that," said Floyd Hartman, Assistant City Manager for Development Services. "Our majority of our water this time of year does go to irrigation so just being conscience of how we irrigate and how we use water is very important to all of us."

Each stage has a different goal.

Stage one asks for a 5 percent reduction in consumption with voluntary water conservation measures.

Stage two wants 10 percent reduction with a required watering schedule.

Stage three says 15 percent reduction with a stricter water schedule and conservation methods.

Stage four is a 25 percent reduction where all non-essential water use is prohibited.

Stage five says the mayor may declare a state of emergency.

Earlier last week, Hartman says the city came within one day of putting stage one into action.

Stage one includes dipping into the Amarillo Raw Water Reservoir, which can provide up to 450 million gallons when full.

"We assume that we're going to see without any precipitation or cooling temperatures that we will go into stage one soon," said Hartman. "We can pull that water to meet those demands that day but we would then the trigger the emergency drought contingency plan so that we don't deplete the reservoir."

The City says if they are to put the plan into action, residents would be notified immediately.

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