Fort Worth urges people to conserve water

Fort Worth
The Trinity River flowing under the Paddock Viaduct in Fort Worth, TX. Photo credit Mark Perry/Getty Images

The City of Fort Worth is putting out another call for people to conserve water whenever they can.

This, as water usage in the city continues to increase amid the hot, dry conditions.

"Three consecutive Wednesdays, we have set new daily water use records," said Mary Gugliuzza, Fort Worth water spokeswoman.

Water usage this past Wednesday was 388.74 million gallons, breaking the week-old record of 386.91 million gallons, which had previously broke another week-old record of 379-84 million gallons.

Overall in July, water usage was more than 10.7 billion gallons, breaking the record of 10.2 billion gallons set in August of 2011.

Despite the record water usage and the hot, dry conditions, the city has not imposed any extraordinary water restrictions - yet.

"The trigger to enact stage one is 75% of water supply, and we're somewhere around 82% now," Gugliuzza said. "We could, at the current pace, reach that stage by late September or early October."

By city ordinance, there are watering restrictions in place all year, every year.

For example, all outdoor watering is prohibited on Mondays, businesses can water Tuesdays and Fridays, residents with even-numbered addresses can water Wednesdays and Saturdays, and residents with odd-numbered addresses can water Thursdays and Sundays.

All outdoor watering is prohibited between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

The City of Fort Worth uses digital meters, so those who skirt the rules can easily be caught.

"We're using the data to help us see who that might be, and we're sending courtesy notifications," Gugliuzza said. "The data doesn't tell us exactly how the water was used, but there are some patterns that can be determined."

And Gugliuzza said it will take a lot more than just a torrential rain storm or two to get water supplies back to normal.

"The ground is so dry, the water's going to seep in, as opposed to flowing off of it," Gugliuzza said. "Some will flow off, but the vast majority is just going to be absorbed by the soil because the soil is so dry."

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