The city of Amarillo is urging you to conserve more water and they're stepping up conservation efforts to help you do so.
Today the city commissioners approved a purchase of 5,000 water conservation kits today. The retro-fit kits will include faucet aerators, lawn gages, flow restricters, leak indicator tablets and a conservation booklet, all tools that will limit your water use. The city says the average water usage by Amarillo homeowners is about 130 gallons-per-day and they want that number down to 125. The Utilities Director, Emmett Autrey says by conserving water it will save the city money, a saving that will be passed on to consumers.
"It basically defers some heavy duty capital costs to the city. Those capital costs when they do come will more than likely have an effect on the water rates, so by conserving water they're also deferring the time when the water rates have to go up."
The city wants to avoid implementing a mandatory water conservation program, so they're going to be retrofitting some older and lower income Amarillo homes to cut down on water use.
"These would be used most effectively in homes that do not have water conserving faucets and shower heads in place right now," Autrey continues. But he adds everyone needs to make more efforts to conserve. He says products like sensors on your irrigation system is one way to save a lot of water.
"We would like to see at least in this initial year with this initial emphasis like a 5 percent reduction as say compared to the last five years."
The National Weather Service says record low levels at Lake Meredith are hurting the city's water supply.
"We've been kind of having a dry spell here for quite a few years actually, so it would take quite a bit of rain to help us overcome that," said Hydologist Lance Goehring.
Goering also says the lake needs to reach about 80-feet for a optimum water supply and he says this spring is looking a bit dry. Currently the conservation kits are on order, older and lower income homes will have first priority to the kits.