City of Amarillo works to conserve depleting water supply

Water is something many tend to take for granted. Whether leaving your sink running while brushing your teeth, or even letting your shower run while it warms up, weâ??re all victims of wasting water. But living in the Texas Panhandle, thereâ??s a depleting water supply.

â??We have ultimately lost Lake Meredith,â?? said City Commissioner Brian Eades. â??It was built back in the 60's and supplied our water for a long time. And it is down to basically an operational.â??

Water is diminishing yet usage is increasing as the weather continues to get hotter.

â??The impact of the depleting water supply has affected all sectors, whether that be a homeowner within a city, or the agriculture producer out there on the field,â?? said J.D. Ragland, a County Extension Agent at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

The city of Amarillo gets its water supply from the aquifer.

â??100 years spent collecting that, and weâ??re going through it pretty quickly,â?? said Eades.

According to Eades, one of the biggest problems they have experienced with residents wasting water is through overwatering their property.

â??We see people watering 3 and 4 times a week when really 2 is probably adequate. Maybe 3 if you have a cool water kind of a grass,â?? said Eades. â??Itâ??s not a bad idea to start your watering after 10 pm and finish it up by 6 am.â??

Although the city has been advising residents on when is best to water their property, many still decide to leave their sprinklers running during the middle of the day, continuing to waste water.

â??Half of that is lost to evaporation,â?? said Eades. â??Itâ??s not a good use of our water.â??

Despite how quickly the city is running through its water supply, along with how much water people use on a day to day basis, the city says things are still not bad enough to go into drastic measures.

â??I donâ??t see us going to mandatory measures,â?? said the cityâ??s Director of Utilities, Emmett Autrey. â??Weâ??d have to be using like 90 plus millions per day in order to look into restrictions, even voluntary restrictions.â??

On average, the city of Amarillo is expected to use 60 million gallons a day.

â??Weâ??ve been below that more than weâ??ve been above it,â?? said Eades. â?? This month, weâ??ve only been above our proposed usage 8 days.â??

Although water restrictions may not be in the cityâ??s immediate future, the city is still requesting residents to be mindful of how much water they are using.

â??We got to understand this needs to last us for 100 years, 150 years,â?? said Eades.

For more information on the City of Amarilloâ??s efforts to conserve water, visit

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