Mayors of Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving are joining together in a unified effort to conserve water.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne are supporting a plan to restrict watering to twice weekly a permanent effort.
The region is recovering from one of the worst droughts since the 1950's and the four cities supply water to more than 4 million customers. The goal of the combined effort is to ensure there's enough water to supply the projected population growth for years to come.
For Dallas customers, Rawlings said current water supplies are expected to meet demands through 2035. The twice weekly effort would extend the supply to 2045.
The area reservoirs are near or above normal levels due to recent rain, but the mayors are thinking long-term.
In the coming weeks, the individual city councils will vote on the plan that should be in place by the summer.
Experts advise lawns only need about an inch of water every five days. The new conservation efforts would limit automatic irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers to twice weekly watering. Hand-watering, soaker hoses, and drip irrigation systems could be used more often.
The mayors said this is an important effort, though they are aware that some homeowners aren't happy about it.
"People say, 'We've got all the water we need, why restrict use?' We want to have the water we need in good times and in bad," said Cluck.
"It's a limited resource. When it's gone, it's gone. Our cities may not have water to deliver in the future unless we get serious about conservation issues," said Price.
The mayors say exceptions and fines for violations will vary by city and they are calling on other city leaders to join in the permanent restriction.