IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Irving is facing one of its worst water shortages in recorded history. “We’ve got to be proactive and we’ve got to start looking at how we manage our water,” explained Donna Starling, Irving’s Water Programs Manager.
Irving officials say water consumption went down nearly 20% after “Stage 2” restrictions were implemented in August. However, it now appears it won’t be enough and stronger measures are needed to save the city’s dwindling supply.
Irving gets most of its water from Jim Chapman Lake in East Texas. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the severe drought has depleted 70% of the lake.
To counteract the extremely low levels, Starling says the city is planning to move to “Stage 3” water restrictions, January 1. That means residents and business owners are permitted to water only once a week or face stiff fines. “It will last as long as the drought is in effect,” said Starling. “So until the lakes refill, we will have to keep Stage 3 in place and we could potentially move into a higher stage,” she added.
For some Irving neighbors with a green thumb, “Stage 3” restrictions are likely to put a damper on the spring planting season. For others residents such as Mike McClintic, the impact will be minor. “I might water my lawn once a month just to keep the trees going,” McClintic chuckled.
Irving officials have also contacted the city of Dallas about purchasing water from Dallas. Starling says it’s likely to happen, but a deal has not been finalized.
CBS 11 reported earlier this month that the North Texas Municipal Water District, which supplies much of Collin County, has also approached the city of Dallas about purchasing water.