San Angelo Water Supply Nearing Drought Level 2
San Angelo’s current water supply is 18.2 months, meaning the city will likely enter Drought Level 2 by next month unless it receives substantial rainfall, Water Utilities Director Ricky Dickson told the City Council on Tuesday.
By ordinance, once the water utilities director reports to the City Council that the city has less than 18 months of available water supply, the city enters the second of its three drought stages. Under Drought Level 2, outside watering is restricted to once every seven days between 6 p.m. and noon.
The Council will next meet May 14.
San Angelo is in Drought Level 1, which is triggered when the city has less than 24 months of water supply. Under Drought Level 1, watering is allowed twice every seven days between 6 p.m. and noon.
Drought Level 3 is enacted when the city has less than 12 months of available water supply. The final stage of the drought contingency plan, Drought Level 3 prohibits outside watering.
When San Angelo has more than 24 months of water supply, its conservation plan encourages, promotes and requires citizens to conserve water at all times.
San Angelo relies upon O.H. Ivie and Twin Buttes reservoirs, and Lake Nasworthy as its water sources. As of April 15, Ivie was at 20 percent capacity, Twin Buttes was at 5 percent and Nasworthy 76 percent. To date, San Angelo has received 2.54 inches of rainfall compared to 8.05 inches last year. Normally, San Angelo averages 4.42 inches through April 15.
Dickson also reported to the City Council that the pumping of water from Twin Buttes’ south pool into its north pool, where it can be released into Lake Nasworthy, began Monday, April 15. Currently, two pumps are active; a third pump will soon come on line. Each pump is capable of pumping about 25 acre-feet per day. An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.
Dickson noted that three feet of water is available for release from the north pool into Nasworthy. He told the Council he initiated the pumping to raise the level of the north pool, thus ensuring Nasworthy’s level can be maintained as long as possible. Consolidating water into one pool also reduces the surface area exposed to evaporation and, thus, conserves water.
The City Council expressed support for the pumping.
A 62-mile pipeline that will deliver groundwater to San Angelo from the Hickory Aquifer in McCulloch County is scheduled to be completed in July. The plant to treat the water is scheduled to be completed in July 2014. The pipeline will be capable of delivering 6 million gallons per day to San Angelo from the existing nine wells. The city will drill five to seven more wells.
San Angelo typically uses about 20 million gallons per day during the peak summertime season and 9 million gallons per day in the wintertime.