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U.S. city Houston issues water restrictions due to continuing drought

(Xinhua)

08:49, August 16, 2011

HOUSTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The fourth largest U.S. city Houston on Monday announced mandatory water restrictions and other steps because of continuing drought.

The restrictions, issued by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, demand that residents repair all detectable leaks within 72 hours of recovery, and limit outdoor irrigation to two days a week.

The city will begin with warnings and an informational campaign, said Parker, adding that repeat offenders will be fined.

Other water conservation measures include suspension of scheduled washing of windows and buildings, discontinuing washing city vehicles or equipment except for health, safety or critical maintenance reasons, and ordering an audit of all irrigation systems.

Houston is following a number of cities in the area that imposed water restrictions due to the ongoing drought.

Texas, where Houston sits, is officially in the midst of its second worst drought on record, according to weather service meteorologists.

The state saw less than an inch of rain statewide in July, and more than 90 percent of Texas is currently in the two most extreme stages of drought. It has endured its 10 driest consecutive months on record.

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