Executive Director Message: Conservation is a Water Source

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Preparing for future growth

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) service area is experiencing significant population growth, with a recent report showing Frisco and McKinney as the second and third fastest-growing cities in the country. Other cities in our service area are also experiencing significant growth, which means our regional systems must expand to meet these needs.

This year, NTMWD is investing $365 million in water infrastructure improvements and $160 million in wastewater infrastructure. Next year, the District plans to spend $700 million to address critical water and wastewater needs. Some of these projects involve upgrading aging pipes and pumps as well as upgrading and rehabilitating our treatment plants.

We are investing in future water resources with the proposed $1.2-billion Bois d’Arc Lake in Fannin County, and the $120-million Trinity River Main Stem Pump Station and Pipeline. But, those new water sources can only help meet future regional demands if water conservation continues to be a priority for all of us. Water conservation is a critical factor in meeting water supply needs for the region. It has already helped NTMWD delay the need to construct more than $1 billion in new projects.

Conservation is key component of long-term water plan

Did you know that about half of annual water use is applied to lawns and landscaping? July is Smart Irrigation Month, and even though recent rains have helped fill Lavon Lake and other water sources, we continue to urge residents and businesses to conserve water this summer by only watering as needed. The District recommends landscape watering no more than twice per week, only if necessary, to help conserve water and limit demand on the District’s water treatment plants.

Limited landscape watering is especially important this year as we upgrade our original treatment plant in Wylie. Our first water treatment plant began operations in 1956 and has been taken out of service for repairs and upgrades. This reduces our maximum daily treatment and delivery of water by 70 million gallons per day (MGD). Every gallon of water conserved will help reduce the pressure on our system during this repair and in the future as our cities continue to grow.

We also offer residents in our service area a free online tool to help determine how often you need to water your lawn. WaterMyYard.org uses local weather data along with the type of sprinkler system you have to determine if you need to water or wait.  In all of 2016, WaterMyYard recommended landscape watering only 16 weeks out of 52. Even on the weeks where watering was recommended, only one watering per week was necessary for most residents. Reducing landscape watering not only conserves water, but also helps you manage your summer water bills.

Take the #PledgeToPlantSmart by only selecting water-efficient native and adaptive plants in your landscapes. Native and adapted plants are a beautiful choice that can withstand the hot Texas heat with little watering.

For more information on water conservation tips and education programs, visit NorthTexasWaterIQ.org and sign up for weekly watering alerts at WaterMyYard.org.