COTTONWOOD SHORES — The city has joined several other Highland Lakes communities by moving to mandatory Stage 2 water restrictions, officials said Sept. 4.
"We were waiting and trying to hold out until after Labor Day," said City Administrator Janet Taylor-Carusi. "The splash pad (water feature at community park) is closed to the public until we come out of rationing."
The drought that began in October 2010 and still continues to grip the region is being blamed by forecasters for the dry conditions.
Horseshoe Bay, Kingsland and Marble Falls also are under mandatory restrictions while Burnet, Meadowlakes and Granite Shoals have voluntary water-use restrictions.
The Stage 2 restrictions mean residents can water lawns only twice a week based on their address.
Odd-numbered addresses can water Wednesdays and Saturdays while even-numbered addresses can water Thursdays and Sundays. Commercial customers can water Tuesdays and Fridays.
Lawns can only be watered on scheduled days midnight-10 a.m. and from 7 p.m.-midnight.
Motor vehicles, boats, motorcycles and other vehicles may only be washed on designated days by hand. Commercial car washes can still be used.
The watering schedule also includes filling swimming pools, fountains and ponds, unless they support aquatic life.
According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, storage reservoirs Travis and Buchanan have fallen below 900,000 acre-feet of combined storage, or about 45 percent full.
Lake Buchanan is 16.6 feet below its traditional level for September, while Lake Travis has dropped 29.45 feet for the same period.
If the drought continues without significant rainfall, LCRA officials estimate the lakes could shrink to 760,000-810,000 acre-feet of water by Feb. 1. The record low was 620,000 acre-feet in 1952.