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Upcoming hotter temperatures could extend water restrictions this year

CC City Manager Peter Zanoni said the National Weather Service expecting hotter temperatures, but no changes have been announced.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — During Tuesday's Corpus Christi City Council meeting, councilmembers got an update on area water restrictions -- something that could linger for some time to come. 

“In our weekly National Weather Service briefing with our water team, we were advised that for the next several months, through April, we can expect hotter-than-normal temperatures and dryer-than-normal temperatures," said Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni. 

The combined storage levels of Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon Reservoir are sitting at just under 43 percent -- 10 percent less than just one year ago -- meaning Corpus Christi will stay in Stage 1 water restrictions, where we’ve been for more than 180 days.

Next week, the council will be discussing recommendations on calling for water restrictions much sooner than before, including adding a voluntary stage that’s triggered when combined capacity falls below 50 percent, or when Lake Texana drops below 40 percent.

They may also introduce surcharges for large water users.

Before Tuesday's council meeting, Zanoni told 3NEWS that the city will soon be looking at current water rates being paid by, not just residents, but also by industrial customers.

“We know industry is important in our area for jobs and for growth, but we want to make sure that the rate structure is commensurate to what the residential customer pays in terms of fairness," he said. 

They’ll also consider doing more with the Water Conservation 365 program, something that has been in the works since last fall, and an idea Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo said is imperative.

“We have a water conservation plan, but I have advocated strongly and directed staff to make that plan something that we abide by all year round," she said. 

While it won’t produce more water, it will hopefully provide incentive to use less, something that everyone agrees right now is the first step in facing our water reality. 

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