Plastic plants and mulch are part of Plano woman's water-saving plan

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by JENNY DOREN

WFAA

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 6:14 AM

PLANO — Worries about water are forcing the North Texas Municipal Water District to extend existing restrictions.

On Wednesday, the City of Plano joined the effort and launched a new conservation campaign to help save water.

Here's why there is a critical need for conservation in our area: The EPA estimates the average household uses about 320 gallons of water each day. About 30 percent of that is for watering outdoors.

With roughly half of that water being wasted, leaders from the North Texas Municipal Water District are taking action to stop sprinklers from running too much as we enter our driest months.

Local residents share the same water worries, and some are finding creative ways to battle the drought that’s dragging on.

“People would walk up and down the street asking us what we were doing,” said Plano homeowner Dory Rainey.

Her front lawn is made of mulch. “We don't have any grass at all,” she said.

No grass means no need for watering. It’s her solution for too much sun and not enough rain drying up local lakes. And take a second look at her flower beds.

“This year I just took all the dead things out and I replaced them with the plastic,” Rainey said. She now favors fake flowers over real ones, and plants that don’t die in the drought.

Her backyard is also AstroTurf.

“It's low maintenance,” she said while lounging on her patio. “It's pet friendly.”

City leaders in Plano hope other residents follow Rainey's lead. They put out a plea on Wednesday to be “water wise.”

“We've joined with the North Texas Municipal Water District in their campaign of the tagline ‘all in together Water Smart Plano,’” said Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock.

“Do the right thing and help us preserve our supplies for our basic needs,” added North Texas Municipal District spokeswoman Denise Hickey.

The water district recently called on its 13 member cities to adopt the same rules, including putting a limitation on lawn watering — twice every other week.

McKinney and Frisco are holding out for now, taking their own course of action.

“It's a matter of working out what makes sense for each community,” said Frisco Deputy City Manager Henry Hill.

Residents in Frisco can water once a week on trash pickup day, but only if necessary.

“The effort all along has been to save water,” said Hill. “Frisco has been given a goal to reduce its water consumption by 10 percent. We've actually been exceeding that; we've been reducing our water consumption by 20 percent.”

Hill said the city has a wonderful relationship with the NTMWD and its taking the recommendations seriously. The mayor and City Council will revisit the proposed restrictions at a meeting this Saturday.

E-mail: jdoren@wfaa.com

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