Drought Information Center

CURRENT STATUS:  The City of Cleburne is not operating under any drought restrictions.

The National Drought Mitigation Center maintains and publishes the U.S. Drought Monitor seen here. Four levels of drought conditions have been defined as related to the City’s water distribution system:

  • Stage I Drought Conditions - To be initiated by the City Manager when lake levels reach 75% (Water Surface Elevation 729.2’).
  • Stage II Drought Conditions - To be initiated by the City Manager when lake levels reach 61.5% (Water Surface Elevation 726.5’).
  • Stage III Drought Conditions  - To be initiated by the City Manager when lake levels reach 50% (Water Surface Elevation 723.7’).
  • Stage IV Drought Conditions  - To be initiated by the City Manager when lake levels reach 25% (Water Surface Elevation 716.2’) or emergency conditions.

All of these conditions are outlined in the City’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan.

Please note that the use of effluent water and well water is exempt from the restrictions listed.

  1. Stage I
  2. Stage II
  3. Stage II "Winter"
  4. Stage III
  5. Stage IV

Stage I Water Restrictions 

In Stage I, the City's year-round, twice-a-week watering schedule will still be in effect. There will still be no unattended watering or irrigation between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Watering Schedule GraphicNote: Watering with irrigation systems is prohibited for all property types on Mondays.

Other Residential Restrictions:

  • Prohibited: Using water in such a manner as to allow runoff or other waste, including:
    • Failure to repair a controllable leak, operating a permanently installed irrigation system with broken or misaligned parts, 
    • Allowing water to to run off a property and form a stream or pond,
    • Allowing or causing an irrigation system or other lawn watering device to operate during any form of precipitation or when temperatures are at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Limited: Washing of any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane, or other vehicle to the use of a hand-held bucket and/or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive-pressure shutoff nozzle for quick rinses. Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station.
  • Discouraged: Filling, draining, or refilling of swimming pools, wading pools, fountains, ponds, hot tubs and other type pools except to maintain adequate water levels for structural integrity, proper operation and maintenance, and/or to alleviate an issue that poses a public safety risk.
  • Discouraged: Hosing of paved areas, such as sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, patios, or other impervious surfaces, except to alleviate an immediate health or safety hazard.
  • Discouraged: Hosing of buildings or other structures for purposes other than fire protection or surface preparation prior to painting.
  • Discouraged: Establishing new turf. If new hydromulch, grass sod, or grass seed is installed for the purpose of establishing a new lawn, there are no watering restrictions for the first 30 days while it is being established. After the thirty days the watering restrictions set forth in this stage apply. This exception does not include over seeding with cool season grasses if turf already exists.

Other Commercial Restrictions

  • Car wash facilities must keep equipment in good working order, which should include regular inspections to be sure there are no leaks, broken and/or misdirected nozzles, and that all equipment is operating as designed.
  • All commercial and industrial customers are encouraged to audit irrigation systems to ensure proper condition, settings, and operation. If an irrigation audit or repair occurs during restricted watering times or days, a sign indicating such work is taking place shall be placed in public view until job is completed.


  • Watering of gardens used for growing food crops.
  • Irrigation of new landscape is allowed at any time of day on any day for the initial 30-days provided that the irrigation is limited to the minimum amount necessary for establishment.
  • Watering in of chemicals, including insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides is allowed anytime within 24 hours of application.
  • Irrigation systems may be operated anytime for maintenance and repair purposes, not to exceed 20 minutes per hour per zone.
  • Irrigation using a hand-held hose equipped with a spray nozzle that can be adjusted so water flows only as needed is allowed anytime.
  • The use of water from a reclaimed water system is allowed anytime. A reclaimed water system includes systems in which the primary source is reclaimed water, which may or may not be supplemented from another source during peak demand periods.

Water users are also encouraged to reduce frequent swimming pool draining and refilling.

Read more details in the Water Conversation and Drought Contingency Plan. (Drought contingency measures begin on page 51).

City Water Use

  • Cleburne Golf Links: The Golf Course has a target to reduce irrigation water use by 30% during Stage II conditions. The greens are watered every day and will continue as such throughout the plan’s Stage II drought designation.  In order to maintain the fairways with a minimum of grass coverage without causing permanent damage, irrigation will occur twice a week.  All other areas will be irrigated on Fridays only. These efforts will allow us to meet our water reduction target and staff will monitor usage to ensure the course remains within this target.  Irrigation will not occur between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Cleburne Sports Complex: The Sports Complex utilizes treated wastewater (effluent) for its irrigation. The effluent is conveyed from the Wastewater Treatment Plant within the West Reuse Pipeline to a pond located at the Sports Complex where it is stored in order to irrigate the fields (baseball, soccer and football). Effluent is not suitable for human consumption and is therefore a drought-proof source of water for irrigation. The Sports Complex will continue normal operations, with no irrigation occurring between the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why were weekend days chosen as watering days?
Not everyone has an automatic irrigation system. Those who use hoses need some weekend time for watering. If your watering day is Saturday and you want to work in your yard on Saturday morning, try watering Saturday evening after you complete your yard work. Watch for signs of stress before watering. Just because you can water on a certain day doesn’t mean that you have to water.

What is the penalty for violating the watering restrictions?
Violators may be subject to penalties up to $500.

How can I report an irrigation violation?
Community members can report violations by calling 817-645-0977.

Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires all municipal water suppliers to develop and implement a drought contingency plan.  The City follows its Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, which outlines processes and required measures for four levels of drought conditions – Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Emergency.

Water Conservation

For more information about water conservation and tips to reduce water use at your home, visit our water conservation web page.