PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The North Texas Municipal Water District has voted to relax restrictions on residents in 13 area cities.

Stage 3 restrictions will still be in effect but the decision means customers can water once a week instead of once every two weeks.

The news sent some residents to local nurseries who are eager to start gardening or improve the landscaping around their homes.

“We waited until we could at least water,” says Bev Loughridge, who lives in Plano.  “We’ve got perennials and annuals that we’ll put in.”

The decision to allow more watering Plano comes after recent rains have raised Lavon Lake’s level to just over 493 feet.

But that’s too high for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will begin releasing water from the lake on Friday.

“We plan on opening several flood gates to release 800 cubic feet per second to drop the lake elevation from 493.30 down to 493,” says Eric Pedersen, Trinity Regional Project.

The controlled release is required by law to prevent flooding and send some of Lavon’s overflow downstream to those with water rights.

Still it doesn’t sit well with some who have suffered for months from severe water restrictions.

“It doesn’t make much sense when we saw Lavon down 45 percent last year.” says Dave Loughridge, Plano resident, “It would make sense if they could temper that a little bit by how much they drain out of it in anticipation of what we may or may not get.”

Plano City officials want residents to keep their focus on conservation rather than what’s happening on the lake.

“We don’t want people to think they can just go water, water, water,” says Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock.”

“If we see severe drops and we see a situation where we aren’t getting the rain to replenish that we may have to re-evaulate it.”

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