Update: Stage 2 of Drought Contingency Plan

Dear Water Customer,

In light of the recent implementation of Drought Contingency Stage 2, the District would like to provide further clarification on the issues at hand. The problem is supply and demand related.

  • Supply: New facilities waiting to be approved for use by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) hinder groundwater production capabilities.
  • Demand: The average daily water usage is higher in Bridgeland than other communities, especially during summer months. Additionally, the timing of irrigation systems create an issue with “Peak Demand” and acts as a major factor triggering the event.
  • Objective: maintain sufficient supply and pressure at all times to fight a fire, which is at risk with our current supply/demand situation.

The Stage 2 Drought Contingency triggers are as follows:

  1. The Average Run Time for the Wells is at or above 20 hours for three consecutive days,
  2. The District utilizes an equivalent amount of surface water (or combination of surface water and ground water has been utilized) for three days; or
  3. A Water System failure has occurred.

In this case, Stage 2 was triggered by the Average Run Time for the groundwater wells and the amount of combination water the Districts are utilizing. The facilities infrastructure has the capacity to provide an adequate amount of water to the growing community, however, the problem arises because of peak demand.

Usage is not linear, and the data shows that peak demand occurs from 3 am- 8 am in the morning. This is when most homes are set for automatic irrigation. After the Water Plants meet the irrigation demand throughout the early morning hours, the ground storage tanks are at low levels, which creates pressure concerns and puts firefighting capabilities at risk. During normal operations, the MUD does not set any restrictions on days—every address can set a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and create a very high demand peak. There is an easy fix to smooth the demand—alternating days.

Additionally, the Drought Contingency Plan is a state document and the language is set in place by the TCEQ. Though it is titled “Drought Contingency,” the point of the plan is to keep demand within supply capabilities, regardless of the reason. This plan can be triggered by drought, over-watering, equipment breakdown, etc.

Immediate solutions:

  • Inframark has dispatched an Operator in the early morning hours to run the water plants manually in order to maintain adequate levels and pressures. This has been in place for 2 weeks.
  • MUD has implemented alternating watering days (odd/even addresses).
  • Residents should check their irrigation system controls to comply with the schedule (Sunday/Thursday for Even numbered addresses, Saturday/Wednesday for Odd numbered addresses).
  • The District has requested TCEQ expedite review and approval of the completed well, so we can put it into service.
  • Construction on an additional well begins this month. Typical construction time is 9 months to a year.

As the weather begins to moderate in late September / early October, we expect residents to irrigate less and the problems should self-correct. By this time next year, we should have new facilities online that will provide the needed capacity.

Sincerely,
Bob Thomas, MUD 419 Board President
Greg Henry, MUD 489 Board President