The City of Houston (COH), the primary source of water for the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (Authority), has entered stage two of their Drought Contingency Plan, effective on August 27, 2023. The COH’s drought response calls for mandatory water conservations efforts to reduce water use, that will reduce the daily volume of water delivered. The Houston Public Works Release can be found under https://cityofhouston.news/stagetwodrought/.
As required by the Authority’s Drought Contingency Plan, the Authority must enter Stage 2 of our Drought Contingency Plan, when the COH enters into Stage 2 water shortage of their Drought Contingency Plan. The Authority’s Drought Contingency Plan requires that any customer receiving water from the Authority or well owner whose well is included under the Authority’s Harris-Galveston Subsidence District aggregate water well permit:
Champions MUD Stage 2 Mandatory Restrictions
Under threat of penalty for violation, the following water use restrictions shall apply to all persons:
(a) Irrigation of landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems shall be limited to Sundays and Thursdays for customers with a street address ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8), and Saturdays and Wednesdays for water customers with a street address ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9), and irrigation of landscaped areas is further limited to the hours of 12:00 midnight until 5:00 a.m. and between 7:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight on designated watering days. However, irrigation of landscaped areas is permitted at anytime if it is by means of a hand-held hose, a faucet filled bucket or watering can of five (5) gallons or less, or drip irrigation system.
(b) Use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle is prohibited except on designated watering days between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 10:00 a.m. and between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. Such washing, when allowed, shall be done with a hand-held bucket or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle for quick rises. Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the immediate premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station. Further, such washing may be exempted from these regulations if the health, safety, and welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleansing, such as garbage trucks and vehicles used to transport food and perishables.
(c) Use of water to fill, refill, or add to any indoor or outdoor swimming pools, wading pools, or Jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited except on designated watering days between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.
(d) Operation of any ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds are equipped with a recirculation system.
(e) Use of water from hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting, related activities, or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety, and welfare, except that use of water from designated fire hydrants for construction purposes may be allowed under special permit from the District.
(f) Use of water for the irrigation of golf course greens, tees, and fairways is prohibited except on designated watering days between the hours 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. However, if the golf course utilizes a water source other than that provided by the District, the facility shall not be subject to these regulations.
(g) All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to patrons except upon request of the patron.
(h) The following uses of water are defined as non-essential and are prohibited: 1. wash down of any sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced areas; 2. use of water to wash down buildings or structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection; 3. use of water for dust control;
4. flushing gutters or permitting water to run or accumulate in any gutter or street; and 5. failure to repair a controllable leak(s) within a reasonable period after having been given notice directing the repair of such leak(s). Enforcement (a) Any person who violates this Plan is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). Each day that one or more of the provisions in this Plan is violated shall constitute a separate offense. If a person is convicted of three or more distinct violations of this Plan, the Board shall, upon due notice to the customer, be authorized to discontinue water service to the premises where such violations occur. Services discontinued under such circumstances shall be restored only upon payment of a reconnection charge, hereby established at $ 100.00, and any other costs incurred by the District in discontinuing service. In addition, suitable assurance must be given to the Board that the same action shall not be repeated while the Plan is in effect. Compliance with this plan may also be sought through injunctive relief in the district court.
(b) Any person, including a person classified as a water customer of the District, in apparent control of the property where a violation occurs or originates shall be presumed to be the violator, and proof that the violation occurred on the person's property shall constitute a rebuttable presumption that the person in apparent control of the property committed the violation, but any such person shall have the right to show that he/she did not commit the violation. Parents shall be presumed to be responsible for violations of their minor children and proof that a violation, committed by a child, occurred on property within the parents' control shall constitute a rebuttable presumption that the parent committed the violation, but any such parent may be excused if he/she proves that he/she had previously directed the child not to use the water as it was used in violation of this Plan and that the parent could not have reasonably known of the violation.
(c) Any employee of the District, police officer, or other employee designated by the Board, may issue a citation to a person he/she reasonably believes to be in violation of this Plan. The citation shall be prepared in duplicate and shall contain the name and address of the alleged violator, if known, the offense charged, and shall direct him/her to appear in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction on the date shown on the citation for which the date shall not be less than 3 days nor more than 5 days from the date the citation was issued. The alleged violator shall be served a copy of the citation. Service of the citation shall be complete upon delivery of the citation to the alleged violator, to an agent or employee of a violator, or to a person over 14 years of age who is a member of the violator's immediate family or is a resident of the violator's residence. The alleged violator shall appear in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty for the violation of this Plan. If the alleged violator fails to appear in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction, a warrant for his/her arrest may be issued. A summons to appear may be issued in lieu of an arrest warrant. These cases shall be expedited and given preferential setting in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction before all other cases.