Drought Management Triggers Revised

January 31, 2018

In order to better reflect the expanded water supply available to Coastal Bend customers rules for triggering water use restrictions during drought conditions have been revised by the City of Corpus Christi, the manager of the regional supply system.

The easing of restrictions reflects the fact that water sources for the regional water system are now more diversified with surface water coming from the Colorado River and Lake Texana (on the Navidad River) in addition to Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon Reservoir on the Nueces River. The rules eliminate the previous first stage which included voluntary water conservation measures. Rules prohibiting lawn sprinkler use between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. are always in effect regardless of any drought conditions.

Triggers under the regional Drought Contingency Plan are tied to the total amount of water in storage in Choke Canyon Reservoir and Lake Corpus Christi (CCR/LCC) combined. These are now referred to as Reservoir System Stages. The trigger for the Stage 1 condition has been lowered from 50% to 40% of combined reservoir capacity.

Water use restrictions under Stage 1 now limit any sprinkler lawn watering to once per week on designated days and require customers to discontinue other non-essential uses.

Stage 2 is now triggered at CCR/LCC capacity of less than 30% (down from less than 40%). In Stage 2 drought conditions lawn watering is limited to once every other week on designated days.

Stage 3, which is considered a "critical" condition, is now triggered at an CCR/LCC capacity of less than 20%. At this level restrictions prohibit all watering of landscaping at all times. Rules prohibit filling pools and ponds and vehicle washing is limited. Violators can be disconnected from the water system. The rules seek to achieve an overall reduction in water demand of 30% or more in Stage 3.

Stage 4 would be an emergency condition such as a system outage or contamination event separate from lake levels.

The drought management restrictions adopted by the City of Corpus Christi apply to all customers of the regional system including those provided water through the San Patricio Municipal Water District. The District is required by contract to adopt a Drought Contingency Plan that is at least as restrictive as the plan adopted by the City.