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Water Restrictions May Extend Past October For Some

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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PLANO (CBS 11 NEWS) - Homeowners in the North Texas Municipal Water District face another long, even drier summer.    Water district officials want to extend the current once-every-two-weeks restrictions through Halloween.

Some homeowners are taking unusual steps.  Wayne Bartlett and his wife love gardening, but they are giving up on their grass.  “Well, we’re not going to try to save the lawn, we’re going to Xeriscape over the course of this summer and next spring because of the water shortage.”

“We love gardening and that’s where we’d spend most of our time,” he adds, then speaking of his wife, “She doesn’t believe in throwing good water after bad on top of the lawn.  She just doesn’t believe in that. “

Their extreme sacrifice is the proverbial drop in the bucket in solving the overall problem.  Lake Lavon, the primary reservoir for the water district  is still some 12-feet below capacity.

Officials met with area water directors Wednesday, including Plano’s Mark Israelson.  “This is going to require a lot of compliance for everybody in our community,” he told CBS 11 News.

Though Plano is attracting major corporate concerns, including Toyota’s North American headquarters, its residential districts are nearly built out.  “There are no moratoriums at this point,” he says, speaking of swimming pool or irrigation installations,  “but what we are asking people to do is manually operate their sprinkler system.”

Plano’s long range water plan is to use a new reservoir the the water district hopes to build on Bois D’Ark Creek in Fannin County.  “Between now and then we’ll see what Mother Nature has to contribute (in the way of rain), but conservation is a huge portion of our current plan and probably be a significant portion of our future.”

The water district has asked member cities to cut consumption by 10%.  Plano has–and more.  Frisco—another rapidly developing city—has cut its use by 20%.  Only two cities have not met the mark. But  summer watering every other week watering will challenge homeowners’ lawns.

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