Much of North Texas will face twice-monthly outdoor water restrictions through the summer under rules approved Thursday by one of the area’s largest water providers.
Officials with the North Texas Municipal Water District said the restrictions are necessary to preserve the agency’s drought stricken water supply.
The water district provides water for sections of nine counties including much of Collin, Kaufman and all of Rockwall counties.
Stage three limits, which allows watering only every other week, are already in place and have been extended through October.
The agency’s key reservoir, Lavon Lake, is more than 11 feet below normal in what is normally the wet season, with the typically hot and dry summer months still to come.
“First priority is for public health and safety,” said North Texas Municipal Water District's Public Relations Coordinator Denise Hickey.
The water district's service area includes many growing communities with new homes and new landscaping.
In the Wylie Lakes subdivision near Lavon Lake, resident Stan Gardner said the green lawn at his home, which is only a year old, is already struggling.
“We’ve been lucky and had a little rain but come June and July, this is all going to die,” Gardner said. “We’re all in a dilemma, but we’re all in this dilemma together.”
Hickey said the water district recognizes the effect restrictions may have on landscaping.
“But we really need to do the right thing. We need everyone to join in our effort to conserve our available supply that we have today until this drought ends,” Hickey said.
Exceptions to the rules allow watering trees and foundations and hand watering gardens and potted plants.
Soil preparation and mulch can help gardens survive with less water, said Sam Weger with Callaway’s Nursery.
Weger said lawns should get a deep soaking at the times when watering is allowed.
“The lawn is where we have the biggest problem right now and two times a month on turf is going to be very, very difficult,” Weger said.
Dallas and other North Texas water providers are still asking for less restrictive twice weekly watering limits while monitoring their supplies to decide if other changes are necessary.