Sep 19, 2011 9:22 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Shreveport officials may be forced to tell residents to cut back on how much water they use.
The Times reports city officials are measuring how much water is used over the next 10 days to determine if restrictions are necessary.
Under a new water conservation policy, the city's water and sewerage director can order mandatory restrictions when lake levels at Cross Lake fall below 166 feet or water from the city water plant exceeds 70 million gallons per day for 10 days.
Starting this week, the city is tracking the amount of water used at the plant. The city is currently pumping 75 million gallons per day.
Chief Administrative Officer Dale Sibley said mandatory restrictions would be imposed if water use is higher than 70 million gallons a day after the 10-day period of monitoring mandatory. He said the city's director of water and sewerage would meet with the mayor and city council chairman to recommend restrictions.
Department officials said they're looking at what other cities have done, and restrictions could range from limits on when lawns can be watered to limiting water use for noncommercial car washes.
Sibley said at the end of 10 days, city officials will see where water demand is and make a decision to continue to encourage voluntary conservation efforts or make the move to mandatory conservation.