Brownwood revises drought contingency plan amid declining water levels at Lake Brownwood

With water levels at Lake Brownwood continuing to decrease, the City of Brownwood has formally adopted a revised version of its drought contingency plan.

Every five years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires public utilities to update their water conservation/drought restriction plans and on Tuesday, the Brownwood City Council's members unanimously voted on second and third readings for a new plan.

Some of the penalties that are listed in the plan include allowing the City of Brownwood to cut off water services to those who repeatedly violate water restrictions and having the option to temporarily increase water rates, but in the backdrop of the Brownwood City Council’s decision to update their city's drought plan is the decrease in the water levels at Lake Brownwood.

John Allen, who is the general manager of the Brown County Water Improvement District, said that evaporation is causing the lake's water levels to go down.

"In these 100 degree days with wind, you will lose a lot of water," Allen said.

Allen said that in the past month, Lake Brownwood has evaporated over 11 inches despite getting 1.09 inches of rain.

Brown County residents are currently in Stage 1 mild drought conditions, which calls for a voluntary reduction in water usage.

"If we follow current trends, it looks [like] about eight more weeks before we hit that Stage 2 trigger, which will put us around the first week of September," Allen said.

Stage 2 drought restrictions mean imposing mandatory water restrictions, which include limiting the watering of lawns to just twice a week.

According to Allen, the Brown County Water Improvement District's board met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss their budget for next year, which may include an increase in water rates.

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