Former Rio Hondo mayor says residents need to conserve water

Our valley saw some much needed rain Sunday, but it wasn't enough to lift restrictions many cities have due to the current drought.

Former Rio Hondo Mayor Alonzo Garza said in desperate times like these everyone needs to do their part to conserve water.

He said when he left office earlier this year, his city had to dish out thousands of dollars from its reserve funds to purchase additional water from Brownsville- water, which is now being wasted.

Water, it's a necessary resource for survival, but here in the valley, is a scarce commodity lately. Or is it? According to Alonzo Garza, irrigation water in some Cameron County canals are overflowing wasting precious water.

"As a taxpayer now, I'm really upset and not only am I upset- I'm concerned, said Garza.

Garza said county and city officials should do all they can to conserve water especially in during this drought.

Garza took us to this overflowing canal located on the outskirts of Rio Hondo.

This is one example- you have a canal that is full [and] you have leakage here. This water is going into the Arroyo. This is water we'll never see again," he told us. He said water waste is money wasted.

"[This is] water that we can use. Water that we should be conserving. If you were to monitor your gallons here you know gallons become acres and acres becomes money."

Garza told Action 4 News he doesn't want future generations to pay the price for the decisions made now, which is why he would like to see officials to be more water conscious.

He said he brought up the issue during his time as mayor, but didn't get the time he needed to see it through.

"Waste of water|and I wish that our leaders would do something about it," declared Garza.

We were unable to reach the Cameron County Irrigation District, but Action 4 News did speak to the current Rio Hondo Mayor Gus Olivares.

He told us additional water was purchased in May; however, he is unaware of the water overflowing into these drainage ditches.

He said any water lost is a concern of the city as it TMs currently under water restrictions allowing Rio Hondo residents to water just two times a week.

Olivares said Rio Hondo is taking steps to fix water leaks and broken lines to conserve water.

He adds that the city has a good working relationship with the irrigation district and will continue to do so with this matter.