Many without water as Austin’s demand more than doubles supply

Many across Austin are without water Wednesday as Austin's demand has more than doubled its supply. City officials say thousands of burst pipes have led to the shortage.

South Austin couple Meredith Mooney and Tyler Rusin just got power back Tuesday, but now has a new concern: water. So they've started hoarding. "You fill up your bathtub, and plug it back up, fill up whatever containers you have," Mooney said.

The pair filled up every container they have, fearing the worst. "We got this bucket here, this big Tupperware full of water and this cooler," Rusin said. 

RELATED: Austin Water issues citywide boil water notice

"Even empty wine bottles," said Mooney.

Greg Meszaros, director of Austin Water, forecasted a major shortage Wednesday based on usage. "In the last 24 hours, we've seen 2.5 times greater than our ability to produce water and that's rapidly been draining down our system and our reservoirs."

Each zone is an area experiencing outages (red) or low pressure (orange). The goal is for each zone to get to green again, where the system is operating normally & the boil water notice can be lifted.

City leaders are urging residents to stop dripping faucets, a well-known method to keep pipes from freezing in cold temperatures.


"Even dripping a small amount of water out of a few faucets can easily be a gallon a minute," Meszaros said. "Over the course of 24 hours, that's over 1,400 gallons. We have hundreds of thousands of homes doing that."

This is why Mooney and Rusin took drastic measures Wednesday, totally shutting off their own water supply by choice and using a filter to drink only what they have stored.


Austin Water says stop dripping faucets, but this may lead to frozen and burst pipes, likely leading to thousands of home insurance claims in the coming days.