Irving Needs More of Dallas's Water. And So Does the North Texas Municipal Water District.

LakeLavon.jpg
Flickr: RandomSandy
What remains of Lake Lavon
Speaking of Dallas's water supply ...

I was on US 380 yesterday, headed to Cattleman's Cafe in Blue Ridge for chicken-fried steak, when, driving toward Farmersville, I espied what's left of Lake Lavon, down some 13 feet due to the drought. "It's stunning," in the words of North Texas Municipal Water District spokesperson Denise Hickey. That's one way of putting it.

I called Hickey because I see here that the NTMWD is looking to buy water from Dallas, in large part because Lavon's 47.59 percent full at last look one week ago. That, combined with the fact Zebra mussels have taken over Lake Texoma, is devastating the Collin County water district, which gets 28 percent of its supply from Texoma.

"Purchasing some raw water supply [from Dallas] would help fill in that gap," says Hickey, who notes that the NTMWD currently doesn't buy any water from Dallas. "We have the infrastructure in place where we can move additional supplies from Lake Tawakoni. I am not sure how much Dallas is willing to sell."

As you can see from the city's own look at its water reservoirs' supply. Tawakoni's down more than seven feet. And perhaps you noticed: In the memo Assistant City Manager Forest Turner sent to council at the end of last week, Irving's also looking to buy more water from Dallas, since Lake Jim Chapman, which is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is emptying at a dizzying pace: It's down close to 80 percent depleted, and provides water to Irving, the NTMWD, Sulphur Springs and three other smaller cities.

I've left messages for Jody Puckett, director of Dallas Water Utilities. But Hickey says the proposal to sell Dallas's water to the NTMWD is expected to go to the Dallas City Council in February.

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42 comments
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S Aten
S Aten

Dallas Water Utilities serves about 2 million people.   If any cities that are outside the current service area want our water, they should pay a premium.  Many of these cities have bribed businesses (tax incentives)  to leave Dallas.   Any surplus generated by these extra water sales can pay down the 2 billion dollar debt of Dallas Water.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I believe the price for the water is set by contract, the state, or both.

Cheri Duncan-Hubert
Cheri Duncan-Hubert

Has anyone taken a look at Lake Ray Hubbard?  It is at a competent level because the agreements made allowed Lavon to be stripped when Hubbard went low.  Seems the powers that be need to re-think their agreements.

aggie91
aggie91

Well i think the problem we have down here in Dallas is when we wander up to the suburbs it is hard to miss the miles of beautifully landscaped street medians... even minor streets...  all irrigated.... While we don't even  water the front door to our city (Central Expressway).  

Anon
Anon

The NTMWD is not a Collin County district. It is much larger than that. It was founded in 1951 and currently serves more people than live within the city limits of Dallas.    I suppose the folks saying "Charge 'em out the ass" wouldn't lend a neighbor a cup of sugar? Or, a bit more to the point, toss an extension cord over the fence so the neighbors can keep their fridge running when an ice storm knocks out their power but not your own?  BTW, there's some really great CFS on the square in Decatur at the Peppermill Diner. (And the fried pies are worth the trip all by themselves!) 

Dal Guy
Dal Guy

Prohibit lawn irrigation, period!

DallasDrilling
DallasDrilling

This 'water wars' of sorts is only beginning at City Hall and it's going to end up being another class warfare type of issue. As long as the city manager keeps sweeping it under the rug, very little will come out unless they are prodded or one will have to file an FOI on them. But now with water supplies dwindling, the gas industry has taken to using propane as a lubricant instead of water here in Texas.Doesn't that leave you all warm and fuzzy?

Anon
Anon

Fine, for those who want our water let's charge them 5-10x what the existing market rate is within our own district (use 5x as a baseline and escalate to 10x for water hogs). I'm not going to say that Dallas doesn't have plenty of water wasters, but the reality is that Collin Country's business model is built on taking wealthier, better educated people from Dallas (or attracting them there in the first place) and much of that is based on building new subdivisions with low density and HOAs that penalize brown lawns. (Obviously getting away from DISD helps, but all you're really doing in the suburbs is getting away from the biggest problem children. The education itself isn't very special.) That business model works until it doesn't. There are a number of government subsidies that prop up suburban expansion, all of which have been called "unsustainable" but the reality is that those policies have a lot of inertia behind them and so you can borrow from the future for a long time before paying the piper. As is frequently the case, mother nature ended up being the first one to say "enough is enough" and threaten the future growth of this area unless we get our act together.

Augie
Augie

Yup, but Collin County continues to allow new home permits to be granted by the hundreds daily.  Complete disconnect between the misguided fantasy of unlimited growth is fabulous and the reality of you've got to be able to provide basic services BEFORE you allow the building.  A simple solution that would go a long ways - all new construction must be zeroscaped.  

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