News Column

Water Restrictions Begin in El Paso

April 1, 2013

David Burge, El Paso Times, Texas

It's that time of year again when El Pasoans need to watch what day and time they water their lawns. Starting Monday, the city's time-of-day watering schedule kicks in.

From Monday through Sept. 30, El Pasoans are only allowed to water their lawns before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. and only on their designated days.

"Watering in the cool of the morning or the cool of the evening minimizes evaporation," said Anai Padilla, El Paso Water Utilities' water conservation manager. "That ensures more of our valuable water actually gets to your lawn."

El Paso residents with even-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those with odd-numbered addresses need to water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Schools, parks, cemeteries, golf courses and industrial sites are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, according to the EPWU Web site.

Designated watering days are in effect year-round.

The watering schedule is included in the city's water conservation ordinance, which has been in effect since 1991. Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $500.

During the hottest part of the year, the time-of-day water schedule has been an additional way to help reduce waste and evaporation, water officials said.

"El Pasoans have shown they're willing partners in water conservation," said John E. Balliew, president and chief executive officer of El Paso Water Utilities.

"Between 1991 and 2012, our community has saved an estimated 270 billion gallons of water. Those savings are the result of a broad conservation and reuse strategy including our year-round watering schedule, landscaping with native plants, promptly fixing leaks and installing water efficient showerheads, fixtures and appliances."

Water conservation measures such as these are a "big reason why El Paso is seen as a leader in the management of water resources in the desert," Balliew added.

"From East Texas to Egypt, communities with water challenges are looking to El Paso for solutions. Much of the credit goes to El Pasoans."

This year, the return of time-of-day water coincides with the water utilities' "Less is the New More" conservation campaign. Billboards, bus shelter signs and television commercials will again remind El Pasoans that the less water that is used today, the more will be available in the future, water officials said.

Tips on how to save water can be found at LessIsMoreEP.org.



Source: (c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) Distributed by MCT Information Services