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City leaders aren't worried about drought affecting water supply

Posted at 6:39 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 23:32:08-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Drought has contributed to Corpus Christi temporarily losing access to one of its four water sources.

Corpus Christi Councilman At-Large Mike Pusley said that not being able to draw water from the Colorado River isn’t anything to worry about, even though the city gets 20 percent of its supply from there.

He said this is because the city has a sufficient amount of water in its current three sources — Lake Texana, Lake Corpus Christi, and Choke Canyon — and they make up for the water lost from the Colorado River.

As of right now, Pusley said currently the city’s combined reservoirs are 45 percent full.

If water levels were to fall to 40 percent, then city government officials would implement Phase One drought restrictions, which would limit residents' water use. City staff anticipates that it may happen in the next 90 days.

“We don’t need people panicking about this," Pusley said. "This is nothing new for Corpus Christi and the surrounding area. We’ve all lived through this before. We’re not at a crisis stage or anywhere close to that."

He added that the city does not need restrictions just yet, but he plans to speak with city manager Peter Zanoni about implementing suggestions, instead.

Zanoni also added that the potential loss of access to the Colorado River also happened about 10 years ago.

The city is calculating the water levels of the other three sources to predict how long Corpus Christi's supply can go without rain.

“Our hope is, of course, that we get more rain so we don’t have to enact Stage One drought restrictions, curtailment of water use — which is forecasted at this point to be later this summer, August, September time frame,” Zanoni said.

In order to avoid these limits, the city is encouraging residents to conserve water and said they continue to focus on implementing a drought-proof water source — a proposed desalination project — but it will take several years for it to be completed.