If you live in Austin or most of Western Travis County, you shouldn’t be watering your lawn today (Monday). The city of Austin, LCRA West Travis County utility, City of Cedar Park and Water District 17 have all adopted a twice-a-week water conservation schedule for residences this summer (or longer). To help reduce public confusion, the water providers have all adopted the same schedule, based on the last number of your address: Tuesday-Friday (even) or Wednesday-Saturday (odd). It’s much easier to remember, like your garbage and recycling days, than the old 5-day schedule.
I’ve noticed the Colorado River at Lake Travis is dropping a few feet, thanks in large part to evaporation. You can thank Mr. Sun for all these 100-degree days, which suck millions of gallons of our water through evaporation.
I flew out of Austin this morning to Seattle, and saw from above the Colorado River is completely dry, just north of the Highland Lakes. With all that rain a few months ago, I was surprised.
You may have noticed our updated Water IQ campaign from The City of Austin and LCRA. The billboards and radio spots try to give a voice to the Colorado River. Thousands of people still don’t know the Colorado is the natural source of our drinking water. Our research shows consumers are twice as likely to save water around the home when they understand this fact.
What can you do?
• If you own a sprinkler system, simply adjust each zone by a few minutes. If you currently set each zone to water for 20 minutes, change the setting to 18 minutes. You’ll instantly save 10% of our water without sacrificing your yard, plus you’ll save money on your utility bill.
• Don’t water outdoors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the summer. The evaporation thing ends up getting most of the water, instead of your parched lawn.
• Try not to panic at the first signs of yellow/brown grass. Your lawn is tough and it can make a come-back when we get more rain.
Learn more about your water at www.wateriq.org