Kerrville could be on Stage 1 water conservation measures as early as next week, the city said in a press release on Thursday.
There is growing concern about the water supply and what appears to be an alarming situation with the Guadalupe River. On Thursday, the city of Kerrville issued a statement urging water conservation.
"Going forward, the continued lack of rain and its negative impact on the flow of the Guadalupe River has increased the potential for a move to Stage 1 water restrictions, which could happen as early as next week," the city said.
The Guadalupe is running about seven times its median discharge of about 50 cubic feet per second for August. Yes, this year, it's running about 7 cubic feet per second, and in certain parts of the river, especially Center Point, it's running even lower — less than 3 feet.
"The city's adopted policy for moving into Stage 1 conservation measures is derived by dividing the community's total water demand by the Water System's Safe Operating Capacity (SOC, or the amount of drinking water that the city can safely produce)," the city said. "When the seven-day average of demand meets or exceeds 65% of SOC, the city will implement Stage 1 water restrictions. Currently, the seven-day average is in the high fifties and rising. Please continue to conserve and reduce personal water demand."
The issue has alarmed many. Emails have bombarded city officials about the water, especially along the river. Until Thursday, city officials have frequently said the city has the water to endure a severe drought — that drought is already here.
"As stated before, the city of Kerrville thanks all of our citizens for their diligent water conservation efforts this summer, and past City Councils and staff for their forethought in approving proactive water supply projects like the Reuse Water system, the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) system, and the recent Loop 534 Ellenberger Well," the city said. "Those projects have considerably softened the impact of the current drought on the Kerrville community's water supply."
In addition, the city maintains a 96-million-gallon reuse pond with treated effluent water to irrigate area sports fields, including the three golf courses.
Here's the flow graph from the Guadalupe River through Kerrville, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors river flow across the country.