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Houston issues mandatory water conservation efforts as drought conditions continue


(HOUSTON) — Houston, Texas, implemented the second stage of its mandatory water conservation measures on Sunday, as the area experiences drought conditions, according to the city.

The city’s drought contingency plan is enforced when there is a major drop in yearly rainfall and when higher than normal temperatures lead to continuous stress on the water system, Houston Public Works said in a news release.

During stage two, single-family homes with even-numbered street addresses can take part in outdoor water use on Sundays and Thursdays between 7 p.m. CT and 5 a.m. CT, according to Houston Public Works.

Single-family residential customers with odd-numbered street addresses are restricted to Saturdays and Wednesdays for outdoor water use between the same times. All other customers are limited to Tuesdays and Fridays, according to officials.

“Houston Public Works asks the public to please do your part in helping us reduce citywide water use,” Houston Public Works Director Carol Haddock said in a statement. “Our goal is to reduce water usage from all customers by 10%. Our crews are working diligently in conjunction with area contractors to repair water leaks across the city.”

Customers who violate the city drought contingency plan could be fined up to $2,000 for each offense after a written warning following the first violation, Houston Public Works said.

Houston is one of many U.S. cities that have experienced record-breaking heat this summer.

Temperatures in the city reached 110 degrees on Sunday, with a heat index — or feel-like temperature – of 115 degrees, according to Houston ABC station KTRK.

Houston is forecast to remain in triple digits on Monday, according to meteorologists.

“It’s going to be hot for a minute, and so we have to manage this crisis,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said about the heat at a city council meeting on Wednesday, according to KTRK.

“We’re just having to manage this situation as we move forward,” Turner said of the then-anticipated stage two plan.

Regarding broken pipes in Houston’s water infrastructure, Turner said, “We need additional contractors to deal with water main leaks,” according to KTRK.

Houston is asking residents to check and repair water leaks, check sprinkler heads to ensure that water is not being sprayed into the street or storm drains, take shorter showers and run dishwashers and washing machines when full, according to Houston Public Works.

Houston entered the first stage of the contingency plan in June 2022.

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