As of today, per city ordinance, you no longer have to water your lawn before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.; that rule's only in place from April 1 till October 31. But according to the latest data, Dallas's reservoirs are close to 25 percent depleted -- 7 percent higher than the August numbers that triggered the city's voluntary twice-a-week lawn-watering plea.
We've asked plenty of times: When will Dallas go to at least Stage 1 restrictions, which would "require reduction of water use through mandatory maximum 2-days-per-week landscape watering schedule"? Because, after all, the North Texas Municipal Water District went to Stage 3 today, while surrounding cities are already well into Stage 1 restrictions. And it's fall, after all, when lawns begin to go dormant and don't need so much water.
City officials have long maintained Dallas wouldn't go to Stage 1 till reservoirs are 35 percent depleted. But rumors have been floating for a few days, at least, that Dallas would put those mandatory restrictions in place sooner than later -- this week, matter of fact, perhaps during the council's briefing on the future of the city's water supply that will take place tomorrow. No doubt it'll come up; at least one council member we know of wants Stage 2 restrictions pronto, which would knock down lawn-watering to one day a week, at most.
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But, no: City officials to whom I spoke yesterday and today say Stage 1's not yet on the to-do list. City Manager Mary Suhm confirms. And while it's not on the agenda tomorrow, she says, there are two briefings forthcoming later this month that will deal with water: "one on conservation strategies and one on the drought we are experiencing and its effects." When asked if and when Stage 1's a-comin', she says only: "A bit sooner than we last publicly discussed."