SOUTHLAKE -- Lawns that used to be lush and manicured are turning brown as residents adapt to the city's twice-a-week watering schedule.
Some aren't adapting as well as others.
So far, the city has issued 480 warnings for illegal watering as officials aggressively enforce mandatory restrictions, said Bob Price, director of public works. More than 100 warnings were handed out Monday, when no watering is allowed. On Tuesday, 50 more warnings were issued before 4 p.m.
Repeat offenders can be issued citations that require a court appearance and can carry a fine up to $2,000. The city has issued two citations, Price said Tuesday.
Some violations involve broken sprinkler heads, but most are for people watering when it's not allowed. Water customers are assigned watering days based on the last digit of their address.
Southlake enacted the Stage 1 water restrictions July 25 after water levels plummeted in the city's three water towers, potentially putting the city's firefighting ability at risk.
Despite some who disregard the restrictions, most water customers are complying, and it's making a difference, Price said.
The city uses a computer program to monitor water levels in the towers and ground storage tanks. On Monday and Tuesday, the city's water consumption was noticeably less than a week earlier, Price said.
"We're seeing some good compliance with our communication efforts," he said.
But that doesn't mean everyone likes it.
Lisa Wettig has an ugly brown spot in the front yard of her Timarron home, and she expects the problem to get worse throughout Southlake.
"We have large yards, we have lots of grass, lots of plants, and we're just watching it die," Wettig said. "A lot of us spent a lot of money our yards, and now we have to water only two days a week. I don't even want to think about what it's going to look like at this rate."
She questions why Southlake is the first city in the area to have mandatory restrictions.
"Nobody around us has the water restrictions that we do," Wettig said. "They haven't kept up with the infrastructure in the city. It continues to be a problem that they're not taking care of."
For years, Southlake has been planning and building a 30-inch waterline that will improve the city's ability to move water. That would increase efficiency but not necessarily prevent Stage 1 restrictions, Price said. Only 1.4 miles of the 5-mile pipe have been completed. One holdup has been negotiations with nearby Westlake, which will also tap into the line.
If the city enacts Stage 2 restrictions, irrigation could be limited to once a week.
"No one wants to go there, and if we all work together today, we won't have to do that," Price said.
The city hasn't given a timeline for lifting the Stage 1 restrictions.
"We're in this for several more weeks. Accept it and abide by Stage 1 restrictions," Price said. "I'm not seeing any relief in sight. It's important that we maintain as a community and a region the mindset that we need to conserve water."