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What’s new in the 2024 Water Conservation and Drought Contingency plans?

The city has set goals to reduce water usage and waste by setting realistic guidelines for five and 10-year conservation efforts.

An aerial view of Lake Travis in Austin with receding water levels.

Lake Travis is impacted by Austin’s drought conditions.

Photo via City of Austin

Expect new water usage initiatives to flow into Austin. City Council approved amendments to Austin Water’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency plans last week.

Currently, Austinites consume an average of 127 daily gallons of water per capita. Austin Water hopes to reduce daily usage to 123 gallons by 2029 — and 116 gallons by 2034 — by incorporating efforts that:

  • Refine customer water-saving initiatives.
  • Continue to alert customers of water usage and potential leaks.
  • Integrate water-saving designs into new developments and expand water reuse programs.

This plan received some criticism for not being ambitious enough, but Austin Water believes these are realistic objectives after failing to hit goals set in prior years.

The city also approved the revised Drought Contingency plan which they must revisit every five years. The amendment introduced a new, fifth drought stage to the system that mostly pertains to athletic field irrigation. Locals can find the current drought level and recommended water usage restrictions on Austin Water’s website.

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