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Drought Response for Public Water Systems

September 2023—Extreme drought conditions have returned to Texas, and dry conditions are predicted to continue or worsen for the state. Public water systems may start to see a strain on their water supplies. TCEQ is encouraging public water systems to take reasonable measures to increase conservation efforts and identify and secure alternative water supplies to meet water needs.

Conservation Measures

The following are conservation and alternative water supply measures you can take to prepare for drought:

  • Start your Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) response measures to reduce consumption.
  • Encourage water conservation.
  • Carry out public education and outreach strategies.
  • Measure and track existing water supplies.
  • Repair leaks in the distribution system to limit water loss.
  • Report to TCEQ the amount of water supply if it is approaching less than 180 days.
  • Evaluate infrastructure and develop plans to meet needs (such as extending intake structures to deeper waters, drilling new wells, etc.).
  • Seek authorizations and funding resources to extend existing supply or obtain new sources in a timely manner.

Your DCP is an important tool in conserving and managing your water supply during difficult times. We encourage you to review your DCP and prepare to apply water use restrictions as appropriate. If the water system you purchase from has started restrictions, review your purchase water contract and be prepared to also put restrictions into effect, if necessary.

When to Notify TCEQ

Use the online drought reporting form to notify TCEQ of any changes to your water use restrictions. You must also notify TCEQ of any water supply shortages. Report to your local TCEQ regional office if you’re experiencing an emergency or you need immediate assistance.

Additional Information

TCEQ has a free Financial, Managerial, and Technical (FMT) assistance program to help your water system address drought and many other compliance issues.

For more drought information, visit our Drought in Texas webpage.

For questions, please call the Environmental Assistance Hotline at 1-800-447-2827 or the Water Supply Division at 512-239-4691.