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FORT WORTH The South Holly treatment plant near downtown Fort Worth delivers about 100 million gallons of clean water daily.

The problem is that the lakes feeding this plant and others are down to 66 percent of capacity.

"If we get to 60, we go to Stage 2 once-a-week watering," said Fort Worth Water Department spokeswoman Mary Gugliuzza.

She said lakes are losing about one percentage point a day through use and evaporation, so it's possible we could face Stage 2 restrictions in just six weeks.

"It's the first time we've gotten there, at least in the 17 years I've been here," Gugliuzza said.

She said the water department will hold an internal meeting later this week to discuss how to implement new restrictions if they become necessary.

"Until 2011, we hadn't been in Stage 1," Gugliuzza said. "So it's a learning experience for us, and a learning experience for our customers."

The good news is, Stage 1 conservation appears to be working. Despite population growth in Tarrant County, we're using less water than last year, and a lot less when we get a little rain.

"For instance, yesterday [Tuesday] we used about 40 million gallons less on September 3rd than we used on September 3rd last year," Gugliuzza said.

While that's good, it's not good enough.

Guggliuzza said once-a-week watering could be weeks away unless we get rain... or cooler temperatures... or both.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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