Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mandatory Austin watering restrictions start May 1

"New City of Austin water restrictions will begin May 1 and end Sept. 30.

They include:

*No customer may run yard sprinklers between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

*Odd-numbered residential addresses should water Wednesdays and Saturdays

*Even-numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays. "

Click headline above for full story

The City of Austin has new restrictions on when residents are allowed to water their yard. I personally dont have an issue with the city trying to conserve water. We all know it heats up in the summertime and the water can get pretty scarce. There is a hefty fine in place that would cost a violator $500. They also have an annonymous phone hotline and website to report those that disregard the "suggested" watering schedule. On the one hand, I think that having this system will help to conserve water through the summer months and on the other hand, I'm not really a fan of "big brother". Can't the city monitor water usage to particular residences and fine individuals for excessive totals? I understand setting up some regulations and restrictions on the amount of water but I would suggest using a different approach.
They have a schedule that makes it that if you follow the rules, you are watering at most 2 days per week. That could probably work most of the time but when it gets really dry two days may not be enough. Part of the restriction is that if it gets really dry, they will have even tighter restrictions. Like what? One day a week? I'm pretty sure people will have a dead lawn in the front yard pretty quickly under those circumstances.
How does this effect the housing market? A house doesn't look as appealing with a yellow or brown lawn in front. Especially if the buyers are from out of town and are from an area with a lot of vegetation. Home purchases are largly influenced by the buyers emotion and we all know that if the buyer doesn't like the home or has an issue with the home(including landscaping) it means the home will be on the market longer or a low offer or both.
Dont get me wrong, in my household we try to find as many ways as possible to conserve energy, water, and money. I just think their approach may be a little off.

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