New Water Restrictions Causing Confusion

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Water restrictions for some areas around the Basin just went into effect this past Friday, but there's already confusion about what time is the right time to water.

Each house has a designated day to water that goes by your address, but you might want to pay closer attention to the hours you water, because you could be using water on the wrong day.

Residents across West Texas are being urged to cut back on their outdoor water usage, but depending on what city you're in, following water restrictions could be easier said than done.

City of Midland Utilities Director Stuart Purvis said many cities in the Basin have restrictions that allow three days a week of watering, but in the Tall City, it's the time period that has people confused.

"The city of Midland's plan is not a 24-hour day," he said. "It doesn't go from midnight to midnight."

The city has designated watering days for residents that goes by their addresses, but in reality that day is really only a 16-hour time frame.

"If your day is Tuesday it starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and it goes until 10 a.m. the next morning," Purvis said.

He said the intent is to cut back on water, but that doesn't always happen with a 24-hour schedule for watering days.

"I talked with utility directors across the state and they said if you go to a 24-hour watering day, people will in fact water twice," Purvis said.

Purvis says some residents will wake up early to water in the morning and will do it again at night. So to make sure everyone is actually using less during this drought, the city is asking folks to water one time through the night instead.

Right now, Midland's restrictions are voluntary.

"Voluntary is a dangerous word because it makes people think it's ok that I don't comply but we're asking people to comply and we were very successful this weekend," Purvis said.

Around this time of year, Midlanders normally use anywhere between 28 to 30 million gallons of water on the weekends. This weekend they used 21 million gallons on Saturday and just 16 million on Sunday.

So despite all the confusion, the restrictions seem to be working.

"On a hot weekend like this, I would expect a lot higher number than that so I think the majority of Midlanders are helping us and as long as they do that, we're going to make it," Purvis said.

Just a reminder, there is no watering at all on Mondays.