IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – New water restriction rules may soon be in place for Irving residents. In years past when Irving was NOT in a drought, residents could water pretty much when they wanted; restrictions were voluntary. Not likely in the future. “I think the old days are gone,” says Irving’s water program manager Donna Starling.

With changing times come new rules to better match those in Dallas and other water districts. According to Starling, “What kind of things, with what kind of parameters we can put in place that will be consistent, because ultimately we all draw on the same water sources.”

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State law requires water districts to update plans every five years. The Tarrant Regional Water District and the North Texas Municipal Water District have already submitted theirs. Irving wants to wait until the new city manager comes on board next month to get his input. Irving also wants to go from a 5-stage drought plan to a simpler 3-stage, again to match Dallas. It will hold public hearings beginning next week to get the word out to—and get input from—city residents.

Irving gets 85% of its water from Lake Jim Chapman. It’s pumped to Lake Lewisville where Dallas treats the water and sends it on. Dallas also provides the last 15% of Irving’s needs. Chapman is less than nine feet low but given to fluctuating wildly depending on rainfall. Currently, Irving is on a once-a-week drought irrigation schedule.

It’s not a bother to Lana Staudenmaier, who says the trick is deep watering all her plants. “I usually use the more drought-tolerant plants,” she told CBS 11 News. “Deep watering and composting and putting the bark on your plants keeps all the moisture in as much as possible.” She doesn’t expect any problems when she switches her yard to Bermuda grass next season.

Green landscapes aren’t found exclusively in upscale Las Colinas. This central Irving resident keeps his lawn green with once-a-week week watering—and keeping his mower blade elevated. Ideas to keep in mind even when the drought eases, given future population trends. “We’re going to need more water, not less,” according to Irving’s Donna Starling.

Starling also coordinates variances that landscapers or builders may request in order to create new yards or swimming pools. To apply, she can be reached at:

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North Texas residents can also get a running view of soil moisture levels in Irving and other cities by visiting the website:

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