Code Enforcement Officials Watching for Water Violators

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Despite the drought, Midlanders are using way too much water. Up until now, water restrictions have been voluntary. But starting July 1st that all changes. Not only will they be mandatory, they'll be tougher. Just this past week, the City of Midland exceeded their water usage four times.

With our water supplies drying up and no rain in sight, the city's got a plan to punish those who don't get on board with the water restrictions.

"In the last month, I think 15 days we're above 24.7 million. So half the month of June, we were above 24.7 million," Stuart Purvis, with the City of Midland, said.

Starting July 1st, water use for every city must drop another 10 percent and for Midland that means going from 24.7 million gallons to 22 million gallons.

"We've exceeded that everyday. Back on May 24th, that was the last day we used less than that. We haven't used less than that for an average of more than two days in a row since this program started in March," Purvis said.

Getting residents to use less water is not an easy task but it needs to be done.

"We don't really have a choice. We are at the point where if we use more than there actually is available to us, we may have to issue a warning that we can have indoor use for a while until we catch up. That's just a possibility," Purvis said.

To make residents abide by the rules, Code Enforcement and Midland Police Department are going to be the ones putting down the law.

"One warning. At that point in time, any violations afterwards for the same offense will be citations. The citations will be issued by the Midland Police Department," Steven Thorpe with Code Enforcement said.

Along with their regular work, code enforcement will start looking for water violators.

"We're going to be looking for people that are not watering on the correct days based on their address. Watering outside on the correct time, they're creating nuisance water where we can find that water," Thorpe said.

The city is taking this very seriously and although you may think they are out to get you, they're not. Bottom line, they want to conserve the little water we have left in West Texas.

"We want to work with people. Our goal is not to take money out of the citizens pockets. It's to get them to comply and to back off on their watering," Thorpe said.

The City of Odessa is not falling behind on average. This past month, they have gone over their water usage of 25.24 million gallons. Odessa started issuing citations back in May and on Friday, they will reduce their water usage by three million gallons. Code enforcement will continue to issue citations.

As for Big Spring, they can't use more than 6.1 million gallons a day.

Code enforcement will start issuing citations if residents continue violate the rules.