Montgomery County residents to face water restrictions at start of new year

December 28, 2012 4:45:48 PM PST
Despite the recent rain in the forecast, the new year brings with it new restrictions when it comes to water usage for some communities in our area. It's proof the drought is still very much a problem, and for community leaders in The Woodlands, it's all about stopping a critical water shortage.

The mandatory restrictions begin Tuesday. Homeowners here will be required to water just two days a week at most.

If you're like most, you don't think too much about how you water your yard.

"It does have a feature for custom programming but I haven't figured that out," said Mark Dunn, a homeowner in The Woodlands.

Dunn started looking at his system after we asked him about the new requirement that all residents water two days a week at most.

"We gotta ration it I think in order just to conserve it," he said.

Conservation is key. The population in Montgomery County has grown so much in recent years that those living in The Woodlands alone used 7 billion gallons of water last year. All of it came from aquifers below.

"We are withdrawing or pumping more from the underground supply than is being replenished," said James Stinson, the general manager of The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency.

Stinson says The Woodlands and Montgomery County faces a pending water supply crisis, they're trying to reduce water waste. One of the best ways, they say, is to educate the public, starting by convincing people that their yards don't need as much moisture as they think.

"Watering no more than twice a week is adequate for local plants and grasses," Stinson said.

Besides Stinson says fewer waterings in longer durations will help build a deeper root system while saving countless thousands of gallons over the course of time.

"I'd rather that they ration it opposed to increase the cost," Dunn said.

That just depends on how many homeowners follow the new water restrictions.

It will cost you $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second, $200 for each additional. But those fines won't be implemented till June so folks here have six months of adjustment time before they will face those fees.

When you water depends on whether your address is an even or odd number.

We worked on this story with the help from our friends at Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more in The Woodlands Villager.


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