City of Austin distributes cases of water to people in need

Austin Water said that early Sunday morning, storage in water reservoirs has climbed to 72 million gallons. By Sunday evening, Austin Water reported that number had climbed to 90 million gallons.

There needs to be at least 100 million gallons in storage to build water pressure systemwide, says Austin Water.

The water boil notice remains in effect until sufficient sampling can establish that the water is safe to drink. They added that as the system pressure continues to stabilize, they will begin sampling in some areas.

However, for many Austinites, who are without access to running water, boiling water isn't an option. "We have people all over the city that need water," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

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As cases of water were unloaded from truck beds Sunday morning, Adler said it brings relief to those struggling affected by this winter storm. "We're just trying to get all the water we have out," Adler said. "So, I'm just excited that there is some relief for folks here."

Relief came for those in line in the form of a 32-pack of water. For each car in line, they received one case. Travis County commissioner Ann Howard says that more than 40 pallets of water were on site to be distributed, but knows that doesn't cover the demand for everyone who is in need.

RELATED: Central Texas faces water shortage due to severe winter weather

"It's not enough for everybody and it's not enough for everyone to take a shower, but we're trying to get drinking water to people who need it the most," she said. "These folks have been waiting patiently and these folks are grateful to have the water."

The water today was delivered by FEMA and has been coming out of the Expo Center. Officials say that if there is need in the community, they will work to get water to those in need.

"As long as the need exists for bottled water, we will keep distributing it," Howard said. "It may change based off where the need is, and we will just keep updating the community."


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Mayor Adler said that while it is great that the community is getting water, he's frustrated it has taken this long to get it handed out. "I'm still frustrated and angry, like I know these folks are, that it has taken this long to get the water - that they have been out of water for so long," he said. "But, I'm happy to see water coming out."

He says Austin has received additional trucks from out of state - like Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi- just to get resources and supplies brought in. When asked why other major cities like Houston received water and supplies more quickly, he said their initial supply came from their city's sports teams' surplus from not having fans in attendance at games this season. Adler says they're working on finding ways to get water here to Austin.


"I think after the fact we will know better, but we have been out trying to source water from all over," he said.