Twice-a-week watering restriction to be lifted as of Friday

FORT WORTH - The Tarrant Regional Water District, which supplies raw water to 98 percent of Tarrant County, notified its customers today that twice-a-week outdoor watering restriction will be lifted as of Friday.

While twice-a-week rules will no longer apply, Tarrant Regional reminded customers that restrictions on outdoor watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. remain in place. Officials also encouraged residents to continue use water wisely.

"Although drought conditions have subsided, TRWD encourages the public to continue practicing voluntary conservation measures in order to reduce peak demands in the summer and prolong the area's water supplies," the water district said in a press release.

With the lifting of restrictions, rules against washing cars at home or power-washing your house will no longer be in place.

The announcement follows the cities of Arlington and Fort Worth holding off on making twice-a-week watering restrictions part of the permanent water conservation plan. There had been an effort by the mayors of Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington and Irving to make twice-a-week part of a regional conservation plan and last week the Dallas City Council put those roles in place.

Water planners have said the region needs to conserve more water to help serve a growing North Texas population that is expected to more than double by 2060.

The Fort Worth City Council is expected to revisit the issue later this summer. Mayor Betsy Price has expressed support for twice-a-week but several council members have raised concerns over making twice a permanent. Last week in Arlington, the City Council didn't take a vote after residents spoke out against the plan.

The water district's Stage 1 drought restrictions went into effect Aug. 29 as the water district's lakes hit 75 percent of it capacity. At the end of the November, the water supply dropped to its lowest point, 67 percent, before winter rains started refilling reservoirs. As of Thursday, the capacity on Tarrant Regional lakes had reached 97 percent.

Tarrant Regional said the drought restrictions reduced demands by 8 percent during peak summer usage, saving up to 45 million gallons per day.

The water district's affected cities include: Aledo, Arlington, Azle, Bedford, Bethesda Water Supply Corp., Benbrook Water Authority, Burleson, Colleyville, Crowley, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Dalworthington Gardens, Edgecliff Village, Euless, Everman, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst , Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth, Mansfield, Northlake, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, Roanoke, Saginaw, Southlake, Trinity River Authority, Trophy Club Municipal Utility District, Watauga, Westlake, Westover Hills, Westworth Village and White Settlement.

The district serves a population of 1.8 million in North Texas.

Most cities are not required to take council action to lift the restrictions, but residents are encouraged to contact their city government or water provider if they have any questions.

Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698

Twitter: @fwhanna