With reductions in deliveries recently announced by the Colorado River Municipal Water District, officials with the city of Big Spring hope new restrictions — which go into effect Sunday — will help the municipality cut its water usage by approximately 28 percent.
According to City Manager Gary Fuqua, municipal water customers will be going to a two-hour-a-week schedule for outdoor watering, similar to those adopted by neighboring cities also struggling with the effects of the drought.
The new restrictions allow residential customers whose address ends in an odd number to water their lawns for a two-hour period Tuesdays between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Residential customers whose address ends in an even number will be allowed to water for a two-hour period Thursdays between the hours of 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 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Fuqua said he and other city administrators realize the new schedule will make it tougher for law enforcement and code enforcement officials to regulate, but he's hopeful citizens will make it a matter of honor.
“We realized very quickly that by trying to give citizens a little flexibility in when they water, we were making it harder to identify those people who are cheating,” Fuqua said. “To a certain degree, we're relying on our citizens to be honest and only use their two hours during that time. Make no mistake, however, law and code enforcement will still be watching, and neighbors will still be calling, so this definitely is not a free pass to water for the entire four-hour block of time.”
Additional restrictions include:
• Vehicles can only be washed at commercial — including mobile — car wash establishments.
• Wading pools, fish ponds and fountains can be filled during the allotted watering schedule only.
• Swimming pools, jacuzzis, hot tubs and other recreational water-using items can only be filled between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.
• No outside watering is allowed except on the days and times designated, with the exception of potted plants and flower beds, which can be watered on any day between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. using a watering can of 5 gallons or less. Use of a water hose during these hours is strictly prohibited.
• Washing of houses, decks, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, etc. is strictly prohibited.