Water Departments Warn of Restrictions

Area's lake levels dropping during ongoing dry spell

The cold front that torpedoed temperatures in North Texas on Friday night may have caught people's attention, but the ongoing dry spell has some water departments worried about the long-term forecast.

With area lake levels dropping, some cities say outdoor watering restrictions are likely this summer.

"At some point, with the patterns that we're seeing, we could hit that trigger for the drought plan,” said Mary Gugliuzza, spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Water Department.  “(Customers) need to know what that means for them and outdoor watering."

The average area lake level is 83 percent, Gugliuzza said. If it drops to 75 percent, the first stage of the city’s water rationing plan will take effect.

It restricts outdoor residential watering to once a week, based on whether addresses end in an odd or even number.

Grapevine Lake is 7 feet below normal, and the low levels are becoming increasingly obvious.

“The ground, I mean, you can tell,” said a boater on Grapevine Lake on Friday.

Some other area lakes are even drier.

The last substantial rainfall in North Texas was on Nov. 11.

"Anything customers can do now to use water as efficiently as possible can help extend what supply we currently have," Gugliuzza said.

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