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Brownwood may have to impose stricter water use regulations

By Betty Nguyen, bnguyen@ktxs.com
Published On: Jun 21 2013 07:51:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2013 11:49:30 AM CDT
Brown County Water Improvement District
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

Stage 4 water restrictions seem to be looming in Brown County.

Monday's rain was not enough to help Lake Brownwood. In fact, the one inch addition to the lake, at most, was nothing to splash about.

The Brown County Water Improvement District held a meeting Friday morning to get input from the public and to raise awareness. From Brownwood to Bangs to Early to Zephyr, many of those who attended were from water supplying companies. 

Bangs city administrator Leo Smith said he is strongly against Stage 4 water restrictions because it would devastate all of Brown County. He said people and businesses would eventually want to move elsewhere.

"If you like grass and trees and water in your yard, do you want to move to an area that you may be told, 'It's all going to be dead because we can't water it'?" Smith said.

Representatives from Howard Payne University also attended the meeting and shared concerns of the impact on their athletic fields. They said there is a bigger challenge in recruiting prospective students if their campus doesn't have the green lawns and trees.

Many of those who attended said they have hope it will rain again and that Stage 4 is premature.

Mayor Stephen Haynes said the city has developed a waste water recycling plan that may be a better option.

"We can recycle a lot more than would be eliminated by going to no outdoor watering," Mayor Haynes said. "It will retrieve about a million and a half gallons a day."

Another alternative would be drilling to find an alternative source of viable water underground. Whether or not that water would be usable depends on the volume and quality.

The Brown County Water Improvement District general manager Dennis Spinks said the community has done a good job at meeting the current Stage 3 restrictions.

Lake Brownwood currently stands at about 14 feet below the spillway and is only about 48% full. 

The water district will meet at least once more before making any final decision as to whether or not to implement Stage 4 restrictions.