The City of Southlake imposed twice a week watering restrictions on July 25th, several weeks before a Tarrant Regional Water District imposed the same restrictions on all of its customers, including Southlake.
In the past, those restrictions have usually been lifted with the arrival of cooler temperatures. But more than five months later, the restrictions are still in place.
“We might not see TRWD’s restrictions lifted until the spring,” said Public Works Director Bob Price. “TRWD may require the water levels in the reservoirs to be as high as 85-90% before restrictions can be lifted, and if current projections hold true, we may stay in restrictions for a while longer.”
That water restrictions also caused delays in two City construction projects, the Southlake Boulevard enhancement project and the North Kimball widening project. Both needed water to help control dust and in the case of Southlake Boulevard, to help with the landscaping.
“Now that the temperatures have cooled,” said Price, “the project contractors were able make up some ground. Those projects are scheduled to be completed in the spring.”
The issue of water conservation is still a hot topic as cities brace for the spring and the summer. Current drought forecasts from the National Weather Service Climate predictor (part of NOAA) estimates that North Texas’ current drought conditions will persist or even intensify. The NOAA forecast through March calls for more dry weather.
The continued water restrictions come as the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) completed the state’s 2012 State Water Plan. According to the TWDB: “the primary message of the 2012 State Water Plan is a simple one: In serious drought conditions, Texas does not and will not have enough water to meet the needs of its people, its businesses, and its agricultural enterprises.”
City staff is reviewing the plan and working to see how it fits in with City ordinances and the requirements that the City is obligated to follow as a customer of TRWD.
“The report is very helpful, because it gives us some great guidelines as to how the state will approach the issue,” said Price. “We look forward to working with the City Council and Southlake residents on conservation education and managing the everyday consumption of potable water.”
For now, the City’s twice a week watering schedule remains in effect. For more information on water conservation and drought contingencies, please visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/waterconservation.