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Corpus Christi drought restrictions enacted sooner than normal

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 14, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The city of Corpus Christi enacted Stage 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan during Tuesday's regularly scheduled city council meeting.

This means that residents will only be able to water plants and grass once a week with sprinklers or irrigation systems. However, watering with a handheld hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle is allowed any day.

The city of Corpus Christi's public information department said Tuesday that residents' watering days will be the same day as their trash pick-up day.

The city traditionally makes this move when the Choke Canyon Reservoir and Lake Corpus Christi combined levels drop below 40 percent, however, city manager Peter Zanoni tells KRIS 6 News the call was made to make the change as water levels are at about 43 percent.

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"In May, the city was anticipating rainfall that fell, but not within the watershed," he said in a text message. "Additionally, we have seen higher temperatures earlier."

In addition to the worsening drought and higher than normal temperatures, Zanoni says he's moving ahead with water restrictions because of upcoming summer holidays that could lead to more water usage.

“The city is being proactive by enacting stage one drought restrictions today in an effort to conserve our water supply," he said. "If the city would have waited until the combined capacity was 40-percent, it would be mid July or early August.”

That timeline checks out according to KRIS 6 Chief Meteorologist Dale Nelson.

“It looks like it’s going to be by the fifteenth of July (when the combined lake levels dip below 40-percent) unless we get some kind of tropical activity — which I would hate to see in this area — in our watershed by then," he said. "I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

The city last updated its drought contingency plan in 2018, when Joe McComb was the city's mayor, and a year before Zanoni came to Corpus Christi.

The city has ideas on how to reduce water use on its website, as well as ways to maximize your water usage.

Sr. Digital Content Producer Ana Tamez contributed to this developing story. Check back with KRIS 6 News for updates.