Last week, Williamson County was categorized as “abnormally dry” on the United States Drought Monitor map for Texas. The designation reflects the sustained lack of rain and temperatures above 100 degrees this month in both Georgetown and Williamson County.
Over just the past week, city officials say water use on some days has exceeded 90-percent of capacity of water treatment plants for the City of Georgetown. Moderating water demand below recent levels will prevent the need to put further water use restrictions into place, officials say.
Earlier this month, when water treatment demand exceeded 85 percent of plant capacity, the City enacted Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan. Stage 1 restrictions limit residents to watering their lawns before noon or after 7:00 p.m.
“Our priority as a water utility is first to provide water for drinking and indoor domestic use, second to provide water for fire hydrants and fire protection, and third to provide water for outdoor lawn and landscape irrigation,” Georgetown Utility Director Glenn Dishong said. “To meet those priorities and expand our plants only when needed, we have asked customers to dial back their usage when we are in our peak demand as we are this month. The alternative is to pay for major plant expansions that will be used only a few days each year. And those expansions would most likely require higher water rates.”