Midland Residents Exceed Water Usage Twice In Less Than a Week

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - We've all heard the warnings about conserving our water with this drought. But in Midland, some people aren't listening. Twice in the past week, residents have been using way too much water. The restrictions may be voluntary now but that could change if this keeps up.

The water restrictions in Midland are voluntary but the residents who are watering during the day are not helping the current drought situation going on in West Texas.

"The City of Midland has twice exceeded the limit set by the Colorado River Municipal Water District," Stuart Purvis, Director of Utilities for the City of Midland, said.

Midland can get up near 25 million gallons of water from the Colorado River Municipal Water District. And in just one week, that limit has been passed twice. The first time was on Friday when residents used 25.1 million gallons. The second time was on Wednesday, the limit was exceeded again as residents consumed 26.3 million.

This could eventually mean trouble for everyone.

"We continually draw down their reserves and we can put the system at risk. If a pipe breaks, if there is something that happens then all the cities could be at risk for not having any water," Purvis said.

Currently the city does not have people on patrol looking for water wasters. The city mostly depends on residents and on city employees to keep an eye on the streets. But if people don't stop wasting, they could be paying a high price.

"What we will have to do is go to more stronger matters. We will have to start fining people and writing citations and maybe even reducing the number of days of the week when we water," Purvis said.

On Thursday, NewsWest 9 drove around some neighborhoods in Midland and we saw people running their sprinklers during the prohibited hours. NewsWest 9 even saw homes where the water was running down the street.

"In February, when we had rolling black outs, they paid for electricity but they couldn't deliver, so they shut them off. It's the same thing, you may be able to pay for it, but if it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist. If they continue to use too much, we're going to cut them back because it just doesn't exist. It isn't a commodity, just cause you can buy more, it doesn't mean it's automatically there," Purvis said.

The city has a much stricter water conservation plan ready to go if needed. That plan might go into effect if Tall City residents can't follow the voluntary rules.

You may be wondering if the fire that we had in Midland County affected the water usage. It did not. In fact, the city tells NewsWest 9, the day they were fighting those fires less water was actually used.