A rough spring season rain-wise and updates to water conservation plans have led Arlington Water Utilities to remind its customers how to help keep the area away from further watering restriction.
Tarrant County is currently in stage 1 drought with the Tarrant Regional Water District’s water supply at 69 percent, Arlington conservation program coordinator Dustan Compton said. The county will reach stage 2 at 60 percent remaining.
To help decrease usage by the recommended 5 percent, Compton said he and the department are working to educate customers about the best ways to save water while still maintaining their homes. The department also has an increased focus on supply improvements, according to the department’s March 4 presentation to the City Council.
“Hand-watering, drip irrigation to landscape beds and soakers are always fine,” Darryl Westbrook, assistant director of water utilities, said. “Just be mindful of water waste. Don’t over-water, and take advantage of the rainfall — the flowers on the roads are all rainfall, so it’s possible to still have beautiful plants without irrigation.”
Customers should look out for leaks and continue following the city’s watering schedule, Westbrook said. The first usage violation yields a written warning, and the second could mean citations and restrictions to water passing through the meter.
Compton added that the city is looking at new leak detection, treatment plant optimization and automated metering over the next eight years, which will provide more information on how and when water is used.
“It’s all about how you manage with the size of the customer base,” Compton said. “Drought stages are cyclical and temporary.”
Since Jan. 1 the region has seen 3.93 inches of rainfall, putting DFW more than seven inches below the normal yearly start.
Despite the slow start to refilling the reservoirs, Compton said he thinks there is a low probability of going into Stage Two drought this year. The region has been in Stage One since June 2013, which means a six percent decrease in water supply over the last 11 months.