Before turning on the sprinkler in the spring garden or front lawn, residents might want to check their water supplier for new watering restrictions.
The city of Corinth and the Lake Cities Municipal Utility Authority are seeking limits on outdoor watering to certain days and times.
The twice-a-week limits came after the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, wholesale supplier of water from Chapman, Ray Roberts and Lewisville lakes, wrote a letter Feb. 1 to area water suppliers seeking additional conservation measures.
Corinth residents are being asked to water based on their home address number — even-ending addresses on Sundays and Thursdays; odd on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
The utility authority also will be asking customers to water two times per week, and before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., according to general manager Mike Fairfield.
“We are trying to achieve a 5 percent reduction [in water usage],” Fairfield said.
Spokesman Jason Pierce said Upper Trinity remains in Stage 1, the least restrictive of its water conservation plan, but has begun seeking additional conservation measures in that stage, in light of the state’s historic drought.
Denton County was among a handful of North Texas counties that emerged from the drought in early February. A wetter-than-normal winter has provided relief, but much of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
In Denton, the City Council is expected to meet Tuesday to approve updates to the city’s four-stage drought plan that would allow outdoor watering restrictions to take effect in earlier drought stages.
But after heavy rains in January, city staff members now say they have no immediate plans to enact the revised plan, which would limit outdoor watering to two days a week in Stage 1, like other area cities and water suppliers who, unlike Denton, are part of Upper Trinity.
Denton staff members are taking a “wait and see” approach because area lakes are still above the levels that would trigger automatic restrictions, said Tim Fisher, assistant water utilities director.
Denton is updating its drought plan to more closely match one in Dallas, where a mandatory twice-weekly outdoor watering schedule took effect in December.
Dallas imposed the limits citing long-term weather forecasts, the need to sell water to area providers, and construction at a treatment plant that will reduce supply this year, city officials have said.
“We’re much more independent of those situations and circumstances” in Denton, Fisher said, referring to the Dallas water sales and plant construction. “That’s an issue of their capacity, not Denton’s capacity.”
Denton and Dallas followed similar drought plans for much of the past decade, in part because they share two water sources in Ray Roberts and Lewisville lakes. At Dallas’ request, Denton is considering changes to align its plan with revisions Dallas made in 2010, including mandatory outdoor watering limits in Stage 1.
Under Denton’s current drought plan, restrictions are mostly voluntary until Stage 3. The city has never gone to mandatory limits under the drought plan but is pushing a more cautious approach to better protect water supplies in the event of an extended drought, officials have said.
The drought plan is separate from Denton’s water conservation plan, which bans the watering of lawns and landscapes with sprinklers between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from June 1 to Sept. 30 each year.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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