Lakeway Municipal Utility District Imposes Drought-Triggered Water Restrictions

LAKEWAY, Texas—The Lakeway Municipal Utility District decided Monday, Aug. 10, that it would put customers under new water use restrictions triggered by lower water levels in lakes Travis and Buchanan.

Under the new restrictions—which take effect Thursday, Aug. 13—Lakeway MUD customers must adhere to a two-day-a-week watering schedule. They face enforcement action for failing to comply.

Under moderate drought restrictions outlined in Lakeway MUD’s Drought Contingency Plan, the District aims to achieve a reduction of 10 percent to 25 percent in daily water demand, Richard Eason, general manager of the MUD, said.

“These restrictions are in place in anticipation of the combined amount of water in lakes Travis and Buchanan falling below a crucial point this week. These restrictions will be lifted in six weeks, six months or whenever the lakes fill up again,” Eason said.

Lakeway MUD obtains its water from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). The water is drawn from Lake Travis. Under LCRA’s Water Management Plan, when the combined amount of water stored in lakes Travis and Buchanan reaches 900,000 acre-feet, LCRA requests that its customers carry out mandatory water use restrictions.

LCRA has predicted the combined amount of water in lakes Travis and Buchanan will drop below 900,000 acre-feet this week, Eason said.

Since last summer, Lakeway MUD customers have been encouraged to follow voluntary guidelines for mild (Stage 1) drought conditions.

Under the new moderate (Stage 2) drought conditions, Lakeway MUD customers are required to irrigate only twice a week according to the last digit in their addresses. For odd-numbered home addresses, watering must be done Wednesdays and Saturdays; for even-numbered home addresses, it must be done Thursdays and Sundays. Watering for commercial customers must be done on Tuesdays and Friday.

Among the other rules under the Stage 2 restrictions are:

  • Automated irrigation systems must operate only between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m.
  • Manually operated hose systems must operate only between 7 p.m. and midnight.
  •  Lawn or garden watering is allowed at any time with a handheld hose or a bucket.
  • Use of water to wash a motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or any other vehicle is prohibited except on designated outdoor watering days.

These non-essential uses of water are prohibited:

  • Washing sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts or other hard-surface areas.
  • Washing structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection.
  • Spraying water for dust control.
  • Flushing gutters.
  • Allowing water to run or accumulate in any gutter or street.
  • Failing to fix a controllable leak within a reasonable period after having been directed to repair the leak.

“Lakeway MUD takes these restrictions very seriously. Anyone found to be in violation of these restrictions will be sent a letter to request compliance.  If the customer persists in violation, we can cut off their water, and they could be fined up to $5,000,” Eason said.