Houston Water Officials Say City Is Not On Verge Of Water Restrictions

People in Houston are using more water, as a severe drought continues. But the city says we're not quite to the point of having to put water restrictions into place. David Pitman reports.

Houston water customers are now consuming an average of 60 to 70 million gallons more per day than they did this time last year.  Roberto Medina with Houston's Public Works and Engineering Department says the daily total is closing in on 500 million gallons.

"Our capacity is just over 800 million gallons per day, so we've got plenty of availability."

Medina says Houston has been able to keep up with demand, because it has diversified its water sources.

"We've got agreements in place with Coastal Water Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, and Trinity River Authority.  Houston happens to be fortunate enough to have enough water capacity coming from Lake Houston, Lake Conroe, and Lake Livingston."

Medina says water usage restrictions for people in Houston wouldn't kick in until consumption reaches 80 percent of capacity — that's roughly 640 million gallons per day.  At that point, people would be allowed to water their yards only twice per week during early morning or late evening hours.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...