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Sun dried San Angelo

SAN ANGELO, Texas – A sign placed outside the San Angelo Visitor Center reminds people about the seriousness of the drought March 27. If the drought continues, San Angelo could run out of water in about 14-months. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – A sign placed outside the San Angelo Visitor Center reminds people about the seriousness of the drought March 27. If the drought continues, San Angelo could run out of water in about 14-months. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – A boat ramp sign stands outside the dried O.C. Fisher Reservoir which is filled with plant life March 27. The reservoir is only 0.6 percent full as of April 3. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – A boat ramp sign stands outside the dried O.C. Fisher Reservoir which is filled with plant life March 27. The reservoir is only 0.6 percent full as of April 3. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Harry F. Gilbert, Goodfellow Air Force Base Recreation Camp director, measures the water depth at Lake Nasworthy April 4. The water level was more than 40 inches below the average depth. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Harry F. Gilbert, Goodfellow Air Force Base Recreation Camp director, measures the water depth at Lake Nasworthy April 4. The water level was more than 40 inches below the average depth. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Airman 1st Class Devin Boyer)

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Most people have seen the cartoons where a road runner and coyote have an ongoing wild goose chase in what appears to be a barren wasteland.

Well that wasteland could soon be San Angelo; that is if nothing is done to help conserve water.

San Angelo receives all of its water from area lakes, which are currently drying up. According to waterdatafortexas.org, one of the bigger lakes, O.C. Fisher Reservoir located on the west side of the city is only 0.6 percent full as of April 3.

"Currently, San Angelo has a 14-month water supply available, and then, we run out of water," said Mary C. Lumsdon, 17th Civil Engineer Squadron Base Energy manager.

The drought is a concern that everyone should be aware of.

"Normally, spring is when the area experiences rain and thunderstorms to replenish the lakes and reservoirs," said Lumsdon. "The forecasters aren't predicting any measurable rain until June timeframe. The average rainfall for the area is 19 inches, and for this fiscal year, we have only received 3.48 inches, so we're already starting this year with a deficit."

A low water supply may result in restrictions on various water related activities.

"The city of San Angelo is in drought level two, which restricts outside watering to once every 14 days ... up to one inch per week," added Lumsdon.

If the city moves into drought level three, outdoor water use is prohibited. This includes filling or maintaining the level of any swimming pool or fountain as well as washing automobiles, trucks, boats and trailers.

Not only does the drought affect residents of San Angelo, but it affects Goodfellow as well.

"In regards to the drought affecting the base, I can say the drought is taking its toll on the Recreation Camp boating program," said Dan J. Walker, 17th Force Support Squadron Community Services flight chief. "The water is down approximately 34 inches from normal. Due to the low water levels, the Recreation Camp staff has pulled our ski and pontoon boats [from the water] and closed the boat ramp. The removal of the boats will significantly impact the revenue we generate to run the Rec Camp. Rec Camp personnel will continue to allow use of our fishing boats, kayaks and canoes."

While the impact in revenue generated by the recreation camp is a loss, it's not the only effect the drought has on Goodfellow.

"Goodfellow Air Force Base is the largest user of water in the area," explained Lumsdon. "Goodfellow will only be turning on limited irrigation systems unless the city implements drought level three. They also reduced washing of government vehicles, static displays and flushing fire hydrants."

If residents of San Angelo and Goodfellow work together on water conservation, the restoration of the city's water source can be achieved. There are a variety of conservation measures people can do to save water:
· Take showers not baths
· Take shorter showers
· Turn off water while shaving or brushing teeth
· When providing pets fresh water, don't pour the old water down the drain, instead reuse it
· Catch water while washing dishes to water house plants or trees
· Catch water during showers or baths to water house plants or trees
· Use washing machine water to irrigate lawn
· Take car to carwash (carwashes in the city use a recycle system)
· Wash only full loads in washing machines
· Use drip irrigation or bubblers versus a sprinkler system
· Turn off sprinkler systems during rain events
· Report water leaks
· Fix leaking faucets or running commodes

For more guidance on water conservation, visit the following links:
http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/
http://www.discoverwater.org/
http://www.epa.gov/oaintrnt/water/

For more information about drought levels in San Angelo, visit
http://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/water-conservation

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