City of Corpus Christi
The City of Corpus Christi has a high per capita water use, which may partly be a reflection of the volume of water the City provides to certain large industrial operations but does represent an opportunity to achieve significant reductions in water use. The City prepared a detailed water conservation plan (2013) that was made available in draft form for public input and that outlines numerous measures in effect or under consideration to reduce overall water use, peak water demand, and its already relatively low rate of water loss. Some planned initiatives have not been implemented as of early 2016.
The City of Corpus Christi Water Department through its retail and wholesale operations provides water to nearly 500,000 residents and some major petrochemical operations in a seven-county service area in the Coastal Bend Region. Wholesale customers include water operations serving the cities of Alice, Beeville, Mathis, Robstown, and San Patricio. Corpus Christi relies solely on surface water sources for its water supply, specifically Lake Corpus Christi (Nueces River Basin), Choke Canyon Reservoir (Frio River Basin), and Lake Texana (on the Navidad River in the Lavaca River Basin). In addition, in 1999, Corpus Christi purchased senior water rights to 35,000 acre-feet of water annually in the Colorado River, which in the future might be transported to Lake Texana for connection to the existing Mary Rhodes Pipeline. The City through the Corpus Christi Aquifer Storage and Recovery District is exploring the prospect of storing water under ground for use in dry years.
The City in its 2013 WCP has set a moderate goal of reducing total per capita water use by one percent annually from its baseline (2012) 205 GPCD. The City is also seeking to reduce its peak water demand.
Corpus Christi had a water loss rate of 7.5 percent as of 2012 and has set a goal of reducing that rate to 7.1 percent over a five-year period and 6.7 percent over 10 years.
Corpus Christi Water Department provided a public participation opportunity for the City’s water customers and residents to review and comment on the draft of its most recent (2013) WCP, including the availability of the draft plan on the City’s website and a public meeting to explain and receive input on the plan. This opportunity for public involvement in developing water conservation plans is not the norm among retail water utilities but should enhance the prospect for “buy-in” by water customers and residents in practicing water conservation.
The City has had an extensive water conservation education program, among other efforts, and it has taken steps to encourage its wholesale customers to engage in water conservation. The most recent Corpus Christi WCP identifies several new initiatives by the City in pursuing water conservation, including a rainwater harvesting rebate program and an irrigation consultation service for large commercial customers. The rainwater harvesting and irrigation consultation programs were scheduled to begin in late 2013, but a review of the City’s website as of March 2016 does not provide information about these measures being implemented as of yet.