Featured Topic - WaterWaterWater Conservation

DontWaterDownGeorgetown

The City is promoting water conservation this summer as we have in past years. For most households, the single biggest step you can take is to reduce the number of days you water your lawn to two or even one day each week. You can see the watering schedule that shows your days for outdoor watering based on your address at water.georgetown.org. Pick two days on the schedule.

Another step you can take is to drop three minutes on the zone run times on your irrigation system. Shaving a few minutes off each zone run time can save a significant amount of water. And your lawn will still be getting enough to stay healthy. If you need help adjusting your controller, contact Customer Care at (512) 930-3640 or customercare@georgetown.org.

Click on the images below for more information, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips to conserve water throughout the summer.


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CheckYourSchedule

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NoWateringMonday

Op-Ed by Mayor Dale Ross

Are We Running Out of Water?

Water use by Georgetown customers jumped dramatically in July. Daily water consumption increased from 18 million gallons in June to more than 30 million in July—an increase of nearly 70 percent.

The main factor for the sharp increase is the weather. The thermometer reached the upper 90s or the triple-digits almost every day in July. That kind of heat means we are watering lawns more often. Based on patterns in prior years, we know that in the hottest months of the summer, 75 percent of daily household water use, on average, is for landscape irrigation.

The City is promoting water conservation this summer as we have in past years. For most households, the single biggest step you can take is to reduce the number of days you water your lawn to two or even one day each week. You can see the watering schedule that shows your days for outdoor watering based on your address at water.georgetown.org. Pick two days on the schedule.

Another step you can take is to drop three minutes on the zone run times on your irrigation system. Shaving a few minutes off each zone run time can save a significant amount of water. And your lawn will still be getting enough to stay healthy. If you need help adjusting your controller, contact Customer Care at (512) 930-3640 or customercare@georgetown.org.

Given that Lake Georgetown—our primary water supply—is at the full mark, some may ask why water conservation is needed.

Others may wonder, “Are we running out of water?” Since we are the fastest-growing city in the U.S., do we have enough water for all those new residents?

The short answer is: we are not running out of water.

Georgetown’s current water supply comes from ground water as well as surface water in Lake Georgetown and in Stillhouse Hollow Lake. The untreated water from Stillhouse Hollow is pumped through a pipeline. The current projection in the Water Master Plan, given population growth, is that these water sources will meet demand through 2047. With additional conservation measures, our water sources can meet demand past 2060. Acquiring additional water resources could extend the timeline even further.

To extend our current water supply to meet demand through 2060, we need to reduce overall demand by 20 percent. Meeting that goal involves a multi-faceted strategy including reasonable limits on irrigation, promoting drought-tolerant grasses, and reducing the irrigated lawn area for new homes.

When the City promotes water conservation, there are really three factors to consider. The first is this long-term goal to reduce our overall consumption to meet the needs of future residents and economic development.

The other two factors are short-term and not fundamentally related to our supply contracts and sources. The first is severe drought conditions, or other extreme events, that lead us to enact our Drought Contingency Plan. In 2009 and 2011, water utilities across the region, including Georgetown’s, put water restrictions in place.

The second short-term factor is related to our just-in-time approach to building new water infrastructure to meet demand. Our goal is to deliver new water treatment, distribution, and supply capacity only when it is needed so that customers pay for capital expenses only when they are needed. With our fast-growing city, for example, we now have water storage tanks under construction on Westinghouse Road and at Daniels Mountain in the former Chisholm Trail SUD service area that is served by Georgetown. New storage tanks are planned on Cedar Breaks Road at DB Wood Road and in Sun City. Treatment plant expansions also are planned.

While the City will continue to invest in our water utility infrastructure to meet the demands of our growing population, we all have a role to play. Each of us can adjust our water use habits and take steps to reduce our overall demand. This long-term issue is one that we can solve together to ensure we have the water we need for our future.