Prepared for Drought

Record-breaking temperatures and weeks without rain have Houston in prime condition for brush fires. The scorching heat has officials on alert, but Houstonians won't have to worry about the drought affecting local water supplies. Laurie Johnson has more.

A burn ban is in effect in Harris County and some surrounding counties. The drought also prompted the county to enact a ban on the sale of certain fireworks until further notice. But Houston Mayor Bill White says one thing people don't have to worry about is water shortages.

"The City of Houston has planned ahead on its water resources. As you know, we've built processing plants and we own much of the water rights in the region and we'll be able to meet the water needs of our citizens."

That's not to say that water conservation efforts won't go into effect eventually. But right now, the city has no plans to limit water use.

"In general, Houstonians have been doing more water conservation. In part, perhaps it's because of price and perhaps because it's by awareness. But people have a right to water their yards, so long as we have the water. Water utilization is up, line breaks are up a bit. But we have a great water system and we're pumping very large amounts of water right now."

The triple digit temperatures have already caused dozens of people to need emergency healthcare and one heat-related death is reported.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

 

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...