CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi is finally out of drought conditions.
Though levels at Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon continue to rise from recent rains, water restrictions may not end anytime soon.
The restrictions on watering will not end until combined lake levels reach 50 percent, Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni told 3NEWS.
The combined lake levels from Lake Corpus Christi and Choke Canyon Reservoir rose by 1.2 percent over the last week and 10.9 percent since this time last month. Levels continue to rise as more rain fell recently in the watershed.
As of Sept. 8, the combined lake levels currently sit at 47.6 percent.
“We may not want to get out of stage one even if we do get to 50,” Zanoni said. “We're looking at the long term forecast, we're getting weekly and sometimes two or three times a week updates from the National Weather Service. They are projecting another La Nina for the winter months. That means it is drier and hotter than normal."
Zanoni said it’s common for cities that are prone to drought to start practicing water conservation even in the months where some rain does fall. With combined lake levels being just above 40-percent after our recent rains, Zanoni said this isn’t the time to relax.
“We went into stage one at 42 percent instead of 40 because we were aware of the forecast and we didn't want to jeopardize being in even more of a crisis with water,” Zanoni said.
Corpus Christi City Council members say it’s a matter of educating their constituents that the restrictions are necessary.
“I've had a few complaints where people have gotten citations and they don't think it's fair but ultimately I think what we need to do is have a little bit more public engagement to ensure that that information is out there that we are in drought,” said Corpus Christi Councilman Gil Hernandez.
Councilman Mike Pusley added that the City has seen positive results from enacting the water restrictions.
"We may continue with the once a week yard watering schedule. That has worked pretty well. And we'd like to get people used to doing that,” Pusley said. “I know that I water my yard once a week and it works fine and I don't have to pay to have it mowed any more than that. Or I have to mow it any more than that."
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