Corpus Christi: At A Glance
The City of Corpus Christi saw a 15-point drop in its score since 2016. The water loss component of the scorecard was the primary driver for the City’s diminished performance. The City of Corpus Christi also continues to have a high per capita water use, which may partly reflect the volume of water the City provides to certain large industrial operations. In hopes of reversing this trend, the City’s 2014 and 2019 WCPs established relatively ambitious water conservation goals, including a 1.34 percent average annual reduction in Total GPCD between 2019 and 2024. Although the City recognizes the importance of reducing summertime peak demand, permanent year-round outdoor watering restrictions have yet to be put into place.
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 underground for use in dry years.
The City in its 2019 WCP has set an ambitious goal of reducing total per capita water use by 1.34 percent annually through 2024, which is an improvement from its last 2013 WCP. However, for the entire 10- year projection period, reductions in per capita water use average out to only one percent.
Corpus Christi had a water loss rate of 6.7 percent in 2018, which is a reduction from 7.5 percent as of 2012. For 2024 the City has set a goal of reducing its current water loss rate to 6.5 percent over a five- year period and 6.7 percent over 10 years. Despite having maintained a relatively low percent water loss compared to many other cities across the state, the City of Corpus Christi did not receive full points towards this metric because the TWDB flagged the City’s Water Loss Audit for potential data issues.
The City continues to offer 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 2019 WCP identifies several new water conservation initiatives by the City in pursuing water conservation, including a rainwater harvesting rebate program, an irrigation consultation program, and a park/athletic field conservation program.