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Corpus Christi leaders say more needs to be done about communicating the drought

Posted at 7:52 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 20:52:16-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Residents are probably getting used to the drought restrictions the City of Corpus Christi put in place.

For now, residents are only allowed to water the lawn once a week.

Mike Murphy, the City of Corpus Christi’s water utilities chief operating officer said they have issued over 500 citations to residents that are not following the restrictions, but they haven’t issued more citations in any particular part of the city.

Some people are doubling up on their water use on the days they are allowed to water their lawns, and that has been a challenge for conserving water.

Murphy said the combined lake levels are currently at 36.9 percent but they could be 35 percent by the end of the month.

City Manager Peter Zanoni said he’s considering implementing Stage 2 water restrictions at 35 percent instead of 30 percent as a precaution.

“If we’re all in this together, people have to take ownership and everyone has to do their part,” Zanoni said.

He added that before lake levels drop that low, the City needs to promote drought restrictions through billboards and add more information about water levels on the city’s website.

“This drought has a done a lot, but one of the things it has done, is taught us that we need to be like other Texas cities and constantly talk about water conservation, water levels, the criticality of water as a precious resource,” Zanoni said.

Residents used more water in July than they did in June, but the City would not add more restrictions to their drought contingency plan.

“One of the last things you want to do is change messaging and to have the council focus on amending the plan, would only send mixed signals to the community,” Zanoni said.

Councilman of District 1 Billy Lerma said the city should have been more specific about drought restrictions and water use than they have been.

“We should’ve been doing that from the beginning, ” he said.

Councilman of District 5 Gil Hernandez said the water department and the city haven’t done enough in years past to prevent our drought, saying, “I apologize to them for the situation we’re in.”