At the latest LMUD Board of Directors meeting, held April 12, 2023, the Board approved a motion to add a Drought Rate fee structure to the LMUD Rate Order in the event Stage 3 restrictions are enacted from the LMUD Drought Contingency Plan. This includes increased rates for top-3 tier water users (using above 30,000 gallons per bill cycle/every two months). Drought surcharges are often used by utilities on an emergency and temporary basis to help sustain the utility during a severe drought while supporting drought restrictions.
The LMUD Drought Contingency Plan Stage 3 restrictions are enacted when the combined storage of Lakes Travis and Buchanan reaches 900,000 acre-feet (45 percent full), in accordance with the LCRA. Currently, according to the LCRA River Operations Report, the combined storage of Lakes Travis and Buchanan is 1,010,729 acre-feet (50 percent full). “If impactful rain does not occur over the next few months, we could be looking at enacting Stage 3 restrictions as early as this summer,” said Earl Foster, LMUD General Manager.
Last year, in preparation for an anticipated long, hot summer, the LMUD Board of Directors enacted a one-day per week irrigation schedule on September 1, 2022 without implementing additional Stage 3 restrictions at the time. This restriction has remained in effect. If Stage 3 is enacted, some additional water restrictions will include: no new landscapes or pools may be installed, pressure washing is prohibited, vehicle washing is limited to commercial car wash facilities or commercial service stations that recycle their water, as well as other restrictions.
At this time, we ask LMUD customers to continue to abide by the one-day irrigation schedule and only irrigate on their assigned day during approved hours. For additional water saving measures:
- LCRA offers LMUD customers rebates to help offset the cost of upgrading or evaluating the efficiency of existing irrigation systems, maintaining landscapes and pools, and testing your soil. For more information, visit www.lcra.org/water/watersmart.
- Adjust your irrigation based on the needs of your lawn and for precipitation. LMUD customers can utilize the WaterMyYard program which sends customized weekly watering advice for your specific lawn and irrigation system based on local weather data. For more information, visit www.watermyyard.org.
- LMUD customers can also utilize the new WaterSmart portal which provides registered users the ability to track their hourly and daily water usage, self-identify and resolve leaks, understand where their water is being used, compare their water use to similar households, and set water use alerts. For more information, visit www.lakewaymud.org/update/watersmart.