By Jack Fink

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Love them or hate them, water restrictions are a fact of life in North Texas. Cities in the North Texas Municipal Water District have set the stage three water restrictions. But how often you can water depends on which city you live in.

Plano homeowner Steve Kriss understands the need to conserve. But he doesn’t understand why in Frisco and McKinney, residents can water once a week, if necessary, while residents in the water district’s 11 remaining cities can water only once every other week.

“It just adds to the confusion,” said Kriss.

A water district spokeswoman said they can’t require cities to follow the district’s exact restriction. Frisco’s public works director Gary Hartwell says the city’s weather system allows them to monitor how much water is being used every week. Based on that, they place a recommendation on the city’s website each week on how much residents should water their lawns, if at all.

Hartwell said despite a booming population, residents are using less water.  “The district has asked us to reduce water usage by 10 percent. We’ve done that and in fact, we’ve reduced our usage by 18 percent, so we’re meeting our goal.”

He said the city has had stage three restrictions since last June 1st.

“Since that time, we actually used 1.7 billion gallons less than the previous period from June, 2012.”

Hartwell says one way they’re doing that is by requiring all new homes being built to install a smart controller, which determines whether the yard really needs to be watered that day.

McKinney leaders say their city has also met the water district’s goals to reduce water usage by ten percent.
As for Steve Kriss, he said residents in existing homes are also paying attention.

“I think people are conserving, I think they’re aware of run-off, they’re aware of filling the pool and having it overflow, aware of leaving on sprinklers.”

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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