Extreme heat can impact Friendswood's water sources due to demand, city says

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, August 4, 2023
Water leaks in Friendswood force city to make adjustments
Friendswood city officials say heat and water leaks are partially to blame for the need to use groundwater to keep up with demand.

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- The City of Friendswood says residents might have noticed their water looking and tasting a little bit different Friday, but it's still safe to use.

That's because the city has to use more groundwater, as opposed to surface water from places like lakes, to keep up with the community's demand for water this summer.

Many cities in the Houston area, including Friendswood, largely use surface water for their water supply, so subsidence is minimized.

Subsidence is where the ground sinks as a result of too much water being pulled out of the ground.

The practice of using more groundwater is standard in the heat of the summer.

"It's very common," Michael Turco of the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District said. "We're in a situation here where it's been dry for a long time, and we have multiple sources of water, and groundwater is one of those sources."

Friendswood City Manager Glenda Faulkner told ABC13 that water leaks from the heat, in addition to increased demand, have them supplementing their water supply with groundwater for the foreseeable future.

She said it was something they didn't have to do last summer, but it is a common practice for the city.

Faulkner didn't have the exact percentage split they're working with at the moment, but Turco said Friendswood and other cities have a certain amount of groundwater they're allowed to use in a calendar year before they owe the district more money.

"We're talking about 20% of their total water demand," Turco said as it relates to Friendswood.

He added that the necessity for more groundwater at any point serves as a reminder that we must protect our resources.

"It highlights the need for conservation at this time to make sure our water resources go further," he explained.

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