CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — People who live on Lake Corpus Christi have a firsthand look at the impact an extreme drought is having on one of the city's major water sources.
“Every day (the lake) gets shallower and shallower," Point Loma resident Mary Garza said.
When the combined capacities of Lake Corpus Christi and the Choke Canyon Reservoir get below 40 percent, the city typically initiates stage one water restrictions.
The current level is 42 percent, but City Manager Peter Zanoni said Monday that he'll go ahead and put those restrictions in place at the city council meeting Tuesday.
"The drought’s worsening," he said. "The forecast is not improving, and with the holiday season coming up, we want to get ahead of it and let the community know stage one water restrictions will begin starting tomorrow."
Stage one restricts outdoor watering.
If you use a sprinkler or a sprinkler system, you will only be able to water your lawn between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m., once a week on the day that the city collects your trash.
Hand watering with a hose can still be done any day.
A violation of the water restrictions is punishable by a Class C Misdemeanor with a fine up to $500, but Zanoni says conserving water — not collecting fines — is the purpose of the restrictions.
“There are fines, but it’s all about education," he said. "We want to encourage the community to work together as a community. This is not the first drought we’ve been through. And really, it’s an education process. It’s a habit-changing — change of our habits of how we behave."
Back at the lake, there's another problem the lower water level is causing that affects a smaller group of people.
Garza says boaters are having a hard time using the ramps to launch their boats.
She's appealing to a higher power for a solution to both issues.
“We need to pray for rain," Garza said. "If we don’t get rain, we don’t get the water to come in. So, that’s what needs to happen — rain."
You can see the the conservation plan below: