Stage 4 water restrictions could be in the pipeline for North Texas cities

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 20 at 10:29 PM

McKINNEY -- On Friday, McKinney became the last of the 13 member cities within the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) to continue Stage 3 water restrictions.

Lake Lavon is at historic lows, and as of Friday evening, was at 480.40 feet, which is 11.5 feet below what is considered full.

“If we reach five feet down, at 475 [feet] it could trigger Stage 4 restrictions,” said Denise Hickey, a NTMWD spokesperson.

Hickey said it’s difficult to estimate when or if we’ll ever reach Stage 4 - which means no outdoor watering - because there are too many factors to consider. Last year, the lake was losing water at a rate of .89 feet per month and, surprisingly, it’s gained .17 feet per month this year.

But keep in mind this is before the summer months have started.

When News 8 met up with Dale Morgan of Allen, he was digging through his front yard to find a sprinkler leak.

“We gotta take advantage of every bit of water we get,” Morgan said.

He and his next-door neighbor, Chuck Ganakos, say they are strict followers of the once-every-two-weeks water restrictions. But they say not everyone in their neighborhood, and they allege not even the city follows it.

“We’re sitting here suffering to keep our lawn green and alive, and there’s tons of water being wasted,” Morgan said.

“Somebody has to pay the piper on trying to figure out why we’re so short on water,” Ganakos added.

The NTMWD had previously asked member cities to conserve 10 percent of its water usage. It will be recommending more as we enter the summer months.

“Really, to get through the summer - which is hot and dry - we need upwards of 20 percent,” Hickey said.

She said two more water treatment plants are set to open very soon to take in water from Lake Texoma. While it helps with supply, Hickey said it does little to help with the drought.

To get North Texas out the drought, what is needed is significant rain in the Lake Lavon and Jim Chapman Lake watersheds.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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