FAIR OAKS RANCH, TX — In an effort to protect our vital water resources, the City of Fair Oaks Ranch has officially transitioned into Drought Stage 2 of its Drought Contingency Plan effective August 1, 2023.
This move is necessitated by water metrics that signal a need for increased conservation. For the past eight days, the City's test well averages have remained at or below 1035 feet, and the daily production of Trinity Aquifer groundwater has surpassed .7 million gallons. This level of water usage mandates urgent action to conserve our shared resources.
Several new water restrictions will be imposed under Stage 2 all aimed at reducing water consumption. Ornamental water fountain usage is now prohibited, the sale of bulk water is suspended, and water from fire hydrants is strictly limited to firefighting and activities critical to maintaining public health, safety, and welfare.
A significant measure affects landscape watering permits for new lawn purchases, which are now rescinded. Golf courses within the city will be required to limit watering practices to effluent and non-potable irrigation well water provided by wastewater treatment plants and wells.
To help manage consumption levels, surcharges will be implemented for excessive water use, applying to consumption over 15,000 gallons for residential accounts and 40,000 gallons for commercial accounts per billing period.
The City urges its residents to decrease nonessential water use and implement a personal water conservation plan. This might involve using efficient drip irrigation systems, collecting rainwater, or choosing drought-resistant plants for landscaping.
The City has compiled a short FAQ section about the Drought Stage 2 Surcharges and other resident concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the purpose of the Drought Surcharge?
The Drought Surcharge is implemented during periods of drought when specific triggers are reached as defined in the Drought Contingency Plan. This surcharge, which is in addition to regular water charges, is levied on residential and commercial customers whose usage exceeds defined billing period limits. It is intended to discourage nonessential water usage.
Where does the money received from surcharges go, and for what purpose?
The surcharges are collected by the utility department as part of the customer's monthly bill. The funds remain in the Utility Fund dedicated to the operation, maintenance, and improvement of the water system.
How do residents benefit?
The money collected as part of the billed surcharges is put back into the Utility Fund. This enhances the City's water infrastructure, better preparing the City for future drought scenarios and mitigating damage to the system caused by overuse.
Will the Lemon Creek, Upcoming Apartment Developments, or the HEB development put a further strain on our water system?
Neither the Lemon Creek Development project nor the planned HEB location are within the City limits of Fair Oaks Ranch. They are outside of the service area of Fair Oaks Ranch Utilities, and as such, they will not the City's water infrastructure or system.
How can I be sure I receive future notifications from the City?
The City communicates updates and notices to residents through a variety of means including social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Nextdoor), the City website, the Newsflash notification system (Notify Me), and Regroup, the City’s emergency notification platform.
Residents are highly encouraged to sign up for each of these platforms to ensure they receive any pertinent information the City needs to communicate to residents. Newsflash and Regroup are particularly recommended as they send text messages, emails, and calls to notify residents of emergent or urgent matters. You can sign up for each of these platforms here: https://www.fairoaksranchtx.org/407/City-Notifications.
The City appreciates the understanding and cooperation of all residents during this challenging time. By working together, we can ensure the sustainable use of our water resources.
For more information on the Drought Contingency Plan and Stage 2, visit Drought Contingency Plan | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX - Official Website (fairoaksranchtx.org).