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As Texas experiences a record-shattering heat wave, residents are being asked to conserve not only energy, but now water.
”We’re seeing a stress on our system because of peak demands with peak weather conditions. We are enduring a long, hot, dry summer,” said Wayne Larson, the director of communications for the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). “The forecast doesn’t seem like it will change. We are trying to manage and meet the rising peak demands of our customers.”
The NTMWD last week asked customers to cut down on their use of water immediately, specifically outdoor watering.
One of its water treatment plants had to be unexpectedly shut down on Saturday. The water district pointed out that the call for conservation was due to the quantity produced, not the quality of the water.
The utility issued a press release saying it still can purify enough water for basic needs and safety uses, but the ongoing drought, along with the uptick in outdoor watering and irrigation, has put a lot of stress on its systems.
The company services 2 million residents in ten counties.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 51% of Texas is in an extreme drought, and over 75% is in a severe drought.
Texas has also had some serious problems in the past with its electric grid, and some of this involves green energy sources.
Last week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), an organization that operates the grid in Texas, issued an appeal to all residents to conserve energy. The company blamed “low wind” and “forced thermal outages” for its inability to meet demand. ERCOT added that there are also clouds in certain areas restricting solar power.
While the push for renewable or green energy sources continues in many states, they aren’t always reliable. Tesla joined ERCOT in asking electric vehicle owners not to charge their vehicles during peak periods. In June, the energy demand reached a record in the state, and ERCOT said that it wouldn’t need to ask people to conserve, but that record was again broken in July. The grid is holding up at this point, and ERCOT hasn’t had to implement rolling blackouts.