WALKER — With Louisiana’s lengthy drought pushing water usage to twice the amount consumed a year ago, the state’s largest rural water district is asking customers to consider changing some water-use habits.

Watering lawns during nonpeak periods, like late evening or early morning, can help maintain water pressure, Ward 2 Water District Manager Preston Killcrease said Wednesday afternoon.

Ward 2, which provides water to 18,000 homes in western Livingston Parish, has received a few complaints about low water pressure, though the system has been maintaining sufficient pressure, Killcrease said.

He said his main concern is being sure adequate water pressure is present in the event of a major fire.

“Right now, our system is fully meeting the customer demand — even though we are seeing two times the amount of water usage now than what we had a year ago,” Killcrease said.

But Killcrease said he expects “an even greater spike in consumption” of water if the drought continues, and it will be important for people to manage their water use.

If drought persists, a continued escalation in water use could cause a drop in water pressure in some areas during peak usage periods, he said.

Ward 2 customers are using as much as 10 million gallons a day, Killcrease said.

Friday, customers used 10.06 million gallons compared with 5.06 million gallons on the same date last year, according to company records.

Thundershowers this week have provided at least a temporary reduction in watering of yards and gardens, he said.

Ward 2 Water District serves a large area of Livingston Parish including Walker, Watson and 12 schools in the western part of the parish.

Killcrease said the company has 14 water wells, all of which are in use, as well as six storage towers and more than 375 miles of pipeline.

He said Ward 2 plans to add four new wells and four extra storage tanks during the coming year in anticipation of continued residential growth.

Customers with automatic sprinklers can set their systems to turn on around 3 a.m., while those who manually water their lawns should do so between 5 a.m. and noon to lessen the demand on the system during the evening hours, Killcrease said.