NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - All summer long Nacogdoches city leaders have been encouraging customers to conserve water.
The City Council is considering budgeting $15,000 toward a water conservation awareness campaign.
Even city management is guilty of past carelessness as it pertains to water conservation.
"And I'd forget and left the water on all night," said Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches City Manager.
Jim Jeffers is unlikely to make the mistake twice. He knows the seriousness of the current drought.
"If nothing changes, next July, that's not far off, the lake will be dry. We will not be able to pull any water out," Jeffers said.
Such direct talk is in order, Nacogdoches residents' water usage increased by more than six million gallons during September. The city saved up to 50% usage at some city sites by using water conservation practices.
"What do you want? Do you want your landscape to be green or do you want to have water to drink and to bathe with and to cook with. That's how critical the issue is," Jeffers said.
City staff has already come up with some low cost methods in getting the word out.
"Some table tents here that we luckily had restaurants in town that were kind enough to let us distribute," said Sarah O'Brien, Main Street Manager.
But even the simplest message board costs money.
"When we're asking for the $15,000, which hopefully, we won't have to utilize all of it, the majority of it is not for advertising dollars. It's for help in off-setting costs of printing, supplies, and promotional items to get the message out," said O'Brien.
This morning's wake up call for many East Texans was the best heard answer to the drought.
"Gee, it's raining. That was nice," said Jeffers.
But the message didn't last long.
"That doesn't fix the problem. We need a whole lot more rain," said Jeffers.
Nacogdoches city management says mandatory water restrictions are inevitable.
If and when it happens, water conservation education is usually the best enforcement method.
For water conservation tips, go to http://www.ci.nacogdoches.tx.us.