Drought control

As expected, Big Spring City Manager Gary Fuqua is slated to announce new restrictions to ongoing municipal water restrictions Tuesday, part of the city's efforts to comply with cuts in water deliveries from the Colorado River Municipal Water District.Fuqua warned the council approximately two weeks ago the new restrictions — which will take the city from a schedule that allows for outside water use twice a week to a single two-hour period — were on their way.“We've received our letter from CRMWD telling us what our allotment will be through the summer time,” Fuqua told the council. “Beginning April 1, we will be limited to 6.3 million gallons per day. Just to kind of give you an idea where we were at the same point last year, we were working with 6.8 million gallons per day, so we need to reduce by approximately 500,000 gallons a day.”According to Fuqua, many of the other cities currently served by the Colorado River Municipal Water District — which has found itself drought stricken and with a dwindling supply of water at its reservoirs — have moved to a system of allowing watering for only two hours each week.The city of Big Spring currently allows for four hours each week, including Saturdays between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for residential customers and Tuesdays from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. for businesses.Under the new schedule, residential customers with addresses ending in an odd number will be allowed to water for a two-hour period Tuesdays between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Residential customers with addresses ending in an even number will be allowed to water for a two-hour period Thursdays between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.Commercial establishments will be allowed to water in accordance with the Drought Contingency Plan for a two-hour period Wednesdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.The cut in water deliveries isn't without a silver lining, according to Fuqua, as the 500,000 drop shouldn't force the city into a stricter stage of its Drought Contingency Plan, which the council adopted last year.“We will continue to be in Stage 3 (of the Drought Contingency Plan),” he said. “We won't be going into Stage 4, which is a big relief for everyone because going into Stage 4 will adjust some of the restrictions on us. We'll be monitoring this on a daily basis and any changes will be brought to the council.”