After more than three years of being under Stage 2 water restrictions, McAllen is lifting Stage 2 limits and moving back into voluntary conservation stage. This allows more leeway for customers, particularly because of the heat wave blanketing South Texas in recent weeks.
McAllen Public Utility (MPU) is able to make the changes because of excess treatment capacity and because Lake Amistad and Falcon Lake remain steady at just over 60 percent of total conservation capacity. The current water conservation and drought contingency plan in McAllen dictates that Stage 2 be implemented when lake levels reach 40 percent.
“We successfully navigated the drought and we’ve had significant periods of heavy rainfall so we felt this was the right time to do this for our community,” MPU General Manager Mark Vega, P.E. said. “However, we still want to encourage residents to follow general water conservation practices and continue to protect a precious resource.”
Stage 2 required that all McAllen citizens use water only during the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight on designated days for specified zones. Since water demand has increased to its highest level this year, MPU is trying to accommodate the community’s need for increased water usage. Residents will now be able to use water at their own discretion.
“The temperatures have consistently been at or above the 100 degree mark in recent weeks stressing many residential and commercial yards as well as landscaping areas,” Vega said. “Our reservoir levels are consistent and we are confident that our community will continue to be vigilant in their water usage.”
MPU will continue to monitor reservoir levels closely and reserves the option to re-implement water restrictions should the need arise.