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Task Force Approves Final Water Conservation Ideas

Updated: Thursday, June 26 2014, 05:32 PM CDT

The Austin Water Resource Planning Task Force approved their final recommendations to the Austin City Council Wednesday.

The detailed report includes options for conserving water without drying up your wallet.

"We decided we needed to focus on the very near term," said Sharlene Leurig on the commission.

One idea is to capture rain water from Lake Austin.

"There is a lot of rain we have been sending downstream that we have been getting in recent years, because we don't have the ability to store it," she said.

Another option is to enter into drought stages earlier. However, an interim stage between 3 and 4 has been drafted.

"Stage 3 Interim (Hand Watering OnIy)A* As an interim drought response measure, the utility has proposed an option that would allow outdoor irrigation only with a hand-held hose. All automatic and hose-end sprinklers would be prohibited, but, consistent with Stage 3, vehicle washing at certified facilities would continue to be allowed, as would maintenance of nursery stock and operation/installation of pools. This measure would be imposed within the Director’s authority as authorized in city code."

"We said there should be an interim stage where people were allowed to hand water their trees and gardens," said Leurig.

For homeowners the recommendations could be installing super low flow toilets and energy efficient appliances before you sell your house.

Other strategies discussed are incentives for people using less.   

"Rain water barrels are some of them, paying cash for grass, helping people remove automatic irrigation systems," said Leurig.

The final report will be sent to council July 3. It will be up to them to decide what option they want to implement.

The proposal has varying costs which could total millions of dollars.

For the detailed report go to http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Water/Final_Draft_Report_06252014.pdf

By Christie Post

Task Force Approves Final Water Conservation Ideas


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