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Residents Planting Lawns To Survive Drought & Water Restrictions

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – At Archie’s Gardenland in Fort Worth business on Wednesday afternoon looked more like a bustling weekend.

Customers looked for plants as they set out to prepare their yards for summer. This year many are looking for landscaping that will not only survive a drought, but also water restrictions.

“After that really hard winter a lot of folks lost a lot of plants, so [they’re] keeping that in mind after the past two summers,” explained Randall Archie with Archie’s Gardenland. “I think a lot of folks are really trying to lean towards stuff that’s going to survive our Texas summer and our North Texas winters.”

The City of Fort Worth decided to make its current water restrictions a year-round permanent thing.

Even numbered residential addresses can water Wednesdays and Saturdays. Odd numbered residential addresses can water on Thursdays and Sundays. Commercial and business properties are allowed to water on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Some homeowners out sprucing up their yards said they’ve been doing their part already to conserve.

Resident Russell Dumas said, “We collect rain water. We save things from the kitchen sink and water the yard and the garden with it.”

While the city council made the water restrictions permanent Tuesday night, the City of Fort Worth has actually been under twice-a-week watering restrictions since last summer.

The restrictions follow the same rules as the current Stage 1 drought restrictions. Though no citations have been handed out to offenders the City has sent more than 8,000 warning letters.

“We try to use a carrot instead of a stick initially to get compliance, so the key is going to be getting the message out,” said Mary Gugliuzza with the City of Fort Worth Water Department. “Education will be key.”

The City will be hiring more people to enforce the new year-round water policy.

City officials say offenders will receive a warning first, and if that doesn’t work crews can even shut down automatic sprinklers.

Water violation citations can cost as much as $2,000.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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