The San Angelo City Council, on Friday, Oct. 5, replaced Drought Level 3 restrictions with the less stringent Drought Level 1 requirements after weekend rains replenished San Angelo’s lakes to between 18 and 24 months of water supply.
The move from one drought level to another is required by the City’s drought contingency ordinance whenever the developed and available water supply meets benchmarks established by the ordinance. Drought Level 1 is enacted when San Angelo has less than 24 months of water supply, Drought Level 2 at less than 18 months of supply, and Drought Level 3 at less than 12 months of supply.

Under Drought Level 1, outside watering is allowed twice a week between 6 p.m. and noon until Oct. 31. From Nov. 1 through March 31, outside watering is allowed once every two weeks during the same hours. 

Drought Level 3, which took effect Oct. 1, prohibits the watering of grass and shrubs. Trees and foundations may be watered by hand or drip irrigation up to 1 inch once a week. 

Parks Superintendent Roger Havlak said given how much rain fell this past weekend, trees will not need watering for at least two weeks and lawns for 10-14 days. He advised checking the soil’s moisture to decide whether watering would be beneficial.

San Angelo officially received 5.8 inches of rain at San Angelo Regional Airport from Thursday night through Saturday afternoon. Other areas of the city reported receiving 6 to 7 inches.

As of last Monday afternoon, O.H. Ivie Reservoir, San Angelo’s primary water source, had gained 75,000 acre-feet. (An acre-foot – enough water to cover a square acre one-foot deep – equals nearly 326,000 gallons.) Twin Buttes Reservoir has gained 7,800 acre-feet. San Angelo typically uses 16,000 acre-feet of water annually.

San Angelo relies upon Ivie, Twin Buttes and Lake Nasworthy for water. Nasworthy has gained 13 inches of elevation. 

A $120 million project to supplement San Angelo’s water supply with the Hickory Aquifer in McCulloch County is on schedule. If needed, San Angelo will add that water supply next summer, when the infrastructure to pump and transmit 6 million gallons per day from the Hickory Aquifer is due to be operational. A treatment plant to reduce radium levels in the Hickory’s water will be on line in mid-2014.

San Angelo uses between 9 million and 22 million gallons per day, depending upon the season. 

The Hickory supply is not included in the determination of implementing drought levels because it is not yet a developed source.