Effective June 1, San Angelo will enter Drought Level 2, which restricts outside watering to no more than once every seven days.

At today’s City Council meeting, Water Utilities Director Ricky Dickson informed the City Council that San Angelo’s current water supply is 17.2 months. By ordinance, once the water utilities director reports to the City Council that the city has 18 months or less of available water supply, the city enters the second of its three drought stages.

San Angelo is currently in Drought Level 1, which is triggered when the city has less than 24 months of water supply. Under Drought Level 1, watering is allowed twice every seven days.

All watering from April 1 through Oct. 31 is prohibited between noon and 6 p.m., when evaporation rates are greatest. At no point under the City’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan should any application exceed 1 inch per week.

Other Drought Level 2 provisions include:

  • An allowance for daily watering of golf course greens except during the prohibited hours.
  • No exceptions for more frequent watering of new landscapes, which can be sprinkled once every seven days.
  • Higher “excessive usage fees.” For single-family homes, an additional fee of $3.50 per 1,000 gallons is charged for all usage between 10,000-19,000 gallons, another $5 per 1,000 gallons for all usage between 20,000=29,000 gallons, and $8 per 1,000 gallons for all usage over 29,000 gallons. The surcharges will begin with water customers’ July billing, which reflects June usage.Drought Level 3 is enacted when the city has less than 12 months of available water supply. The final stage of the drought contingency plan, Drought Level 3 prohibits outside watering.

    When San Angelo has more than 24 months of water supply, its conservation plan encourages, promotes and requires citizens to conserve water at all times. It is always a violation to allow water to run more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch. Watering violations can be reported to the Code Compliance Division by calling (325) 277-8906 or (325) 657-4409, or emailing james.flores@cosatx.us.

    For more than a year, the City’s biggest water user, the Parks department, has used less water than is allowed by ordinance. Parks were winterized and watering ceased late last summer. During the winter, when watering was allowed once per week, some irrigated parks and sports fields were watered once per month. When restrictions eased on April 1 to allow watering twice a week, irrigated parks and sports fields were watered once a week. All applications have been between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch. Only recently renovated and constructed parks and sports fields will be watered during Drought Level 2.

    San Angelo relies upon O.H. Ivie and Twin Buttes reservoirs, and Lake Nasworthy as its water sources. As of May 13, Ivie was at 19 percent capacity, Twin Buttes was at 5 percent and Nasworthy 80 percent. To date, San Angelo has received 3.68 inches of rainfall compared to 11.83 inches last year. Normally, San Angelo averages 6.15 inches through May 13.

The City has for the last month been pumping water from Twin Buttes’ south pool into its north pool, where it can be released into Lake Nasworthy. Each of the three pumps in operation is capable of pumping about 25 acre-feet per day. An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.

Dickson initiated the pumping to raise the level of the north pool, thus ensuring Nasworthy’s level can be maintained as long as possible. Consolidating water into one pool also reduces the surface area exposed to evaporation and, thus, conserves water.

A 62-mile pipeline that will deliver groundwater to San Angelo from the Hickory Aquifer in McCulloch County is scheduled to be completed in July. The plant to treat the water is scheduled to be completed in August 2014. The pipeline will be capable of delivering 6 million gallons per day to San Angelo from the existing nine wells. The city will drill five to seven more wells.

San Angelo typically uses about 20 million gallons per day during the peak summertime season and 9 million gallons per day in the wintertime.