Water Restrictions Coming to West Texas

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - It's been months since we've seen any measurable amounts of rain across West Texas and it's finally catching up to us.

Lake levels are at all-time lows and city officials are trying to take care of the problem now before it gets any worse.

For the first time ever, the Colorado River Municipal Water District will be rationing water to the Basin.

This summer they're cutting back our water supply by 10 percent and now local mayors want residents to cut back on their water usage.

"Hopefully our citizens will join with us and recognize that we're in a drought and we got some issues with water," Midland Mayor, Wes Perry, said.

Two of the three lakes that support the water supply to parts of West Texas are quickly drying up.

Mayor Perry plans on tackling that issue starting April 1 with voluntary water restrictions.

"It's not just Midland and Odessa but Big Spring is putting in a similar plan so all of us as West Texas communities are realizing this is something we have to do and we're going to do it," Perry said.

Some of those restrictions include watering only on certain days and certain hours.

"We're not talking about a reduction in volume, we're talking about a reduction in the maximum usage and that occurs between 10 p.m. and 6 p.m.," Perry said.

And if you're not careful about conserving water, it could cost you.

"If water's running down your street and it's coming off of your property, you can get a $500 fine," Perry said.

The same goes for Odessa. Mayor Larry Melton said their restrictions will be mandatory.

"It's an action we've got to take so we can provide for the future," he said.

There is a last resort option.

"We've also got excess water out in Ward County but we don't need to use that at this point, we don't want to use that at this point," Mayor Melton said.

But if residents aren't complying, the consequences could be severe.

"Colorado River Municipal Water District, the place that we buy our water from can actually turn off the water supply," Mayor Perry said.

The city of Odessa even plans to adjust how they operate.

"We will cut back the water in the city parks," Mayor Melton said. "That is affluent water, it's not drinkable anyway but we have to lead by example."

Both leaders say education is the key: using less now, means more later.

"Eventually that translates into increasing our water supply over a long period of time," Mayor Perry said. "It makes perfect sense."