By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
As the Laguna Madre Water District implements consumption restrictions for the communities it serves, including Port Isabel, South Padre Island and Laguna Vista, San Benito officials are contemplating taking similar measures.
According to a press release from the Laguna Madre Water District, it initiated Stage 2 Water Shortage Conditions in its existing Water Conservation Plan. With the initiation of Stage 2, the water district is asking its customers to conserve water by adhering to certain water use restrictions.
“The reason for the restrictions is that we’re in a drought situation now,” said Carlos Galvan, Interim General Manager/Director of Operations for the Laguna Madre Water District. “Falcon Lake and Amistad Lake are below 50 percent. We’re trying to enforce a water conservation plan and send word out to our customers to cut down on water use for certain days. We’re trying to pass word on to customers to try to conserve water as best we can. We don’t have a time frame for when it will rain. We would hate for summer time to come and we’re out of water.”
Among those restrictions is a limit in which property owners serviced by the district can water their lawns. Landscape irrigations will only be permitted from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. on designated days; the Laguna Heights and Laguna Vista areas will be permitted to irrigate on Mondays and Thursdays, South Padre Island will have Tuesdays and Fridays, and Port Isabel will have Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Additionally, the use of water to wash motor vehicles, trailers, boats, airplanes and other mobile equipment will be prohibited with the exception of the aforementioned landscape water days. The usage of water for non-essential purposes is prohibited.
Are these measures necessary in San Benito? Mayor Joe H. Hernandez said it’s possible.
According to Hernandez, similar restrictions for San Benito are not unfeasible.
“The city manager, Manuel Lara, and the assistant city manager, Hector “Chuck” Jalomo, attended a meeting in Harlingen that had to do with (water restrictions). Whatever recommendation the staff is going to give us, I’m pretty sure that the commission will agree,” Hernandez said. “Whatever they recommend, we’ll do it. We’re in the worst drought ever.”
Hernandez said that he found it necessary to put restrictions on water usage in the community.
“We’re talking about wasting water,” Hernandez said. “We’re talking about life, and if we need to stop waste, then it’s a must.”
Read this story in the March 10 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.