Water restrictions could be eased as early as Sunday

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 27 at 7:54 AM

PLANO — More than a million North Texans could soon be able to water their lawns again as early as this weekend.

With tough water restrictions in place, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing water from Lake Lavon, which is more than one foot over its normal level. City managers urged the North Texas Municipal Water District to ease those restrictions, allowing customers to water once a week instead of every other week.

Come Sunday, those restrictions will be eased in at least seven North Texas member cities, including Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Mesquite, Garland and Richardson.

Four months ago, nurseries, like Shades of Green in Frisco, feared Stage 4 restrictions.

"So you wouldn't [put] water in a plant, even if you did plant it," said Rob Weir, who owns the nursery. "So it would've been a very dramatic impact on our business."

But there are some concerns in removing or reducing the restrictions.

Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock said he's worried with lakes full, people will think it is okay to go back to old habits, especially with the district unable to access water from Lake Texoma due to zebra mussels.

"It's really complicated and difficult for residents to understand," Glasscock said. "It was very little to do with where Lavon is or where Tawakoni is. It has to do with the fact that we've lost 28 percent of our capacity."

Shades of Green specializes in drought-tolerant plants. Weir said while many water customers understand the need to conserve, others just don't get it.

"You still have a lot of people who really don't know how to garden here," Weir said. "They're from out of the area or there are a lot of misconceptions out there. So they believe to water when they don't have to."

The North Texas Municipal Water District board of directors has called an emergency meeting for Thursday to discuss easing restrictions that would allow once-a-week watering.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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