WACO, Texas — Drought conditions are causing concern at Lake Waco. The water is currently sitting at roughly 454 feet above sea level, which is more than seven feet less than it usually is.
"This is the lowest I've seen it," Waco Lake Manager Michael Champagne told 25 News. "The last time it was this low was in 2011 during the drought then, but it was a lot later in the year. This is definitely something new to have it this early in the summer."
The city of Waco is now asking residents to help limit water usage.
"The city is limiting its usage by 30%, but the goal is overall for all our communities to reduce the water usage by 5%," Water Utility Services Director Lisa Tyer said.
Outdoor water restrictions began on Wednesday. Residents whose address ends in an odd number can now water only on Tuesday and Saturday. Those with even numbers can water on Wednesday and Sunday.
People are asked to consider limiting their water usage day-to-day inside as well.
"It doesn't sound like a lot when you're talking one household or person, but there's a cumulative effect," Tyer said. "Simple things like turning water off when you're brushing your teeth, when you're shaving, reducing the time you're in the shower."
With rain not on the forecast anytime soon, the changes are meant to help conserve water as much as possible.
"Anything we can do now delays how long it is before we have to go into a stage three drought rationing program and that's even more restrictive," Tyer said.
"We try to keep the lake level at 462, which is normal," Champagne said. "Anything above that we would consider our flood pool. Anything to help us get back to 462 is exactly where we want to be."
If trends continue as they are, Lake Waco is on track to be at its lowest level on record by 2023.