ALICE, Texas — Stage 2 restrictions went into effect in Alice a week ago Monday after the water level at Lake Corpus Christi -- the Jim Wells county town's only water source -- dipped below 86 feet.
It makes restrictions such as limiting outdoor watering to only two days a week mandatory -- and enforceable by citations and fines.
But with word getting around town slowly, city leaders said they'll wait a couple of weeks before warnings turn into actual enforcement.
“We try to get all of the information out through social media -- through the newspaper," Alice City Manager Michael Esparza said. "But still even at that it’s not going to get out that quickly. And so we’ll be reasonable with people, no doubt.”
Reaction to the strengthened restrictions was mixed.
Business owner Michael Cantu was concerned about the impact -- not to his bookstore and poker room -- but to his lawn and garden.
“Twice a week (outdoor watering) doesn’t sound like quite enough,” he said. "What’s next? Once a week? Once a month?”
But given enough information and warning about the restrictions, Cantu said he'll abide by the new rules.
“It sounds fair as long as we’re informed," he said. "And maybe any infractions issued would be a warning, per se, instead of something more strict.”
The city is hopeful that more people will act like Cantu, so as summer and its increased demand for water approach, restrictions won't have to be increased even further.
"Right now we’re just looking at conservation," Esparza said. "It becomes serious when we hit Stage 3 which is severe. And of course we can go to Stage 4 which is critical."