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2012 Could Bring Harshest Water Restrictions

Jack Fink CBS 11 & Matt Thomas 1080 KRLD
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Rob Anderson of Richardson hopes to fix up his landscaping and yard soon.

“This spring, we wanted to replant all these bushes on the side of the house. We had plans to replant grass here toward the front of the house – new St. Augustine that requires a lot of water daily.”

But now, his plans may evaporate because of the on-going drought.

The North Texas Municipal Water District is considering starting Stage 4 water restrictions as early as April 1st instead of waiting intil Summer.

The district serves 1.5 million people in Richardson and close to 60 other cities and towns North and East of Dallas.

Residents have already had to sharply cut-back their sprinklers under the current Stage 3 watering restrictions. But in Stage 4, residents and businesses won’t be allowed to use sprinklers.

The only exception would be watering foundations and trees for two hours on any day with a hand-held or soaker hose, or dedicated drip irrigation.

Anderson says he doesn’t want any problems with his house’s foundation. “My foundation has shifted a lot since I’ve lived here. I’ve had it fixed already, so I need the maintenance water.”

The Stage 4 restrictions not only affect your lawns anbd landscaping, but swimming pools too.

Under the rules, you won’t be allowed to drain your pool and refill it. But you will be allowed to raise the water level. And if the stricter rules are approved, you won’t be able to get a permit for a new pool at all.

Golf courses would also not be allowed to use treated water except on greens and tees.

Even though we’ve had a decent amount of rain lately, it had raised the water level at the disctict’s primary water source, Lake Lavon, by only about one foot.

Without more rain it is feared that the lake level will drop even further, and that concerns Rob Anderson. “With all these restrictions it’s hard to make any home improvements or keep your current house the way it should be maintained.”

The District says it doesn’t want people to spend money on new grass and landscaping, only te be told later that they can’t water them.

North Texas Municipal Water District Deputy Director Mike Rickman says they are trying to work something out with government agencies to start pumping water out of Lake Texoma again, but with uncertainty there and with the generally dry winter, they are now talking about stage 4 watering restrictions.

LISTEN: Matt Thomas reporting for 1080 KRLD

Board members will discuss the plan at their meeting next month.

The District has asked to buy water from another large water provider, the City of Dallas. So far, they have not recieved an answer.

(CBS 11’s Jack Fink & 1080 KRLD’s Matt Thomas contributed to this report)

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