Low Lake Level Prompts Tall City Response

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Evaporation is always a risk when it comes to city water sources.

The sun can't get to the underground aquifers supplying the Basin's water, but our largest source of water is seeing the supply go down.

When leaving the sprinklers on automatic or indulging in that long, hot shower, it's not often that we think about the consequences.

The Basin receives 85 percent of its water from the O.H. Ivie Reservoir out by Paint Rock, Texas. It's managed by the Colorado River Municipal Water District. And according to last week's conditions, it's only 32 percent full.

That factor, along with no future rain prospects, has some Tall City officials thinking about their options.

Midland's Director of Utilities, Deputy City Manager and Public Information Officer have formed a group to come up with a plan in case water restrictions are placed on the reservoir.

"We'll sit down and see what makes sense for Midland," said Director of Utilities Stuart Purvis. "And then we'll develop a program to come out in case they pull the trigger."

Purvis says if restrictions are put into place, Midlanders could be looking at time-of-day watering or day-of-week watering.

It's all in an effort to preserve water until more rain comes.

"What we need people to do is just be more careful," Purvis said. "It's better to water less frequently and water longer because it'll make the roots of the grass go deeper and make them more drought-tolerant."

Purvis said even if restrictions come into play, they will come up with a plan that conserves water and doesn't harm landscaping.

What he hopes is that this will help create awareness in West Texans not to waste a resource that is so important, yet often taken for granted.

"To be careful, and to water wisely, and to not expect that this is an unlimited resource," explained Purvis.

Here's a few tips for you.

Saving water can be as simple as taking shorter showers, not letting the faucet run while brushing your teeth, and turning on the sprinklers in the morning or evening.