EPWU asks customers to resume voluntary twice-weekly watering
El Pasoans are urged to conserve water indoors as well as continue the voluntary reduction of outdoor watering as the on-going drought in the Rio Grande watershed continues.
Photo of Elephant Butte, May 2012
Water use in El Paso peaks during the hottest, driest parts of the year. While El Paso Water Utilities will draw water from the Rio Grande to help meet those demands, continuing drought upstream means our share of river water will be dramatically less than normal this year. In fact, Elephant Butte Lake and Caballo Lake, which store El Paso's river water, are only about 7 percent full.
El Pasoans are asked to resume voluntarily reducing outdoor watering to two days per week and only on the days set forth by the city's year-round watering schedule.
Even-numbered residential addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Odd-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
EPWU's two river water treatment plants were shut down for most of May. The Bureau of Reclamation released water from Elephant Butte Dam on May 29, and the first trickle of water reached El Paso on June 2. Though, EPWU re-started treatment at those plants shortly thereafter, the river will not supply as much water to El Pasoans as it usually does.
In a typical year, EPWU gets about half of its water from supplies at Elephant Butte Lake delivered via the Rio Grande. But flows into Elephant Butte Lake have been above average for only three of the last 16 years. And this year, Elephant Butte Lake is only 10 to15 percent full.
Across the West, drought is the new normal. So here in El Paso, less is the new more.
EPWU will update the situation with the latest information on Facebook and Twitter and at LessisMoreEP.org.