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Drought requirements remain in effect; outlook improving

Our water supply has risen to 77 percent of capacity. That bodes well for avoiding the Stage 2 once-per-week outdoor watering limits this summer. There is still a ways to go to get officially out of Stage 1. Just as the drought plan sets the trigger for entering a stage, it also sets the trigger for exiting each stage. Stage 1 terminates when the water supply exceeds 95 percent of conservation storage capacity or remains at or above 85 percent for 90 consecutive days, whichever occurs first.

Remember, maximum twice-per-week watering will remain in effect even if we reach the level for exiting Stage 1. The City Council last year made maximum twice-per-week watering a year round conservation measure, regardless of the drought situation

Most of the recovery has been in Cedar Creek Lake, which is above the full mark. The western lakes -- Bridgeport and Eagle Mountain are still very low. The good news is that for the first time in a very long time, there is some flow from Big Sandy Creek into Eagle Mountain Lake. Eagle Mountain Lake is also being supplemented with about 140 million gallons a day from the East Texas lakes through the Eagle Mountain Connection pipeline.

lakelevelsFort Worth implemented Stage 1 water restrictions effective Monday, June 3, 2013 because water supplies for Tarrant Regional Water District, Fort Worth’s raw water supplier, had reached the trigger level of 75 percent level of available water supply.

About 56.5 percent of Texas is experiencing some level of drought, compared with almost 85 percent a year ago. (View U.S. Drought Monitor) Extreme drought conditions persist over Tarrant County and to the west and northwest, with some parts still in exceptional drought, the worst classification.

The primary focus of Stage 1 actions is to significantly reduce outdoor watering, which can account for as much as 50 percent of the daily residential water used during the summer. In the summer, lawns need about an inch of water every seven to 10 days.

Stage 1 limits outdoor watering with an irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler to a maximum of two assigned days per week for all customers. Residential customers whose addresses end in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) are permitted to water lawn and landscapes only on Sundays and Thursdays. Addresses ending in even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8 or 0) may water on Saturdays and Wednesdays only.  Non-residential customers, including apartments, businesses, parks and common areas, can water only on Tuesday and Fridays. No watering is allowed on Mondays.

The time of day restriction, which prohibits outdoor watering with sprinklers between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., continues to be in effect.

Watering by hand-held hose, drip irrigation or soaker hose is allowed at any time. Residents are encouraged to limit such watering to a maximum of two hours per day. 

The watering restrictions apply to all Fort Worth retail accounts, including those outside the city limits. It also applies to wholesale customers, the other entities that purchase treated water and resell it. In accordance with their contract, wholesale customers must enact the same restrictions as Fort Worth.  View Stage 1 Rules and Watering Schedule 

The wholesale customers that regularly purchase water are Aledo, Bethesda Water Supply Corp., Burleson, Crowley, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dalworthington Gardens, Edgecliff Village, Everman, Forest Hill, Grand Prairie, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst , Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Northlake, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills,  Roanoke, Saginaw, Southlake, Trophy Club Municipal Utility District, Westlake, Westover Hills, Westworth Village and White Settlement.