Mary Suhm to Recommend Council Implement Stage 1 Watering Restrictions on December 12

Categories: City Hall
ReservoirSystemConditionDallas.JPG
Click to enlarge this chart from the drought update that will be discussed by the Dallas City Council on Wednesday.
On November 2, City Manager Mary Suhm told Unfair Park that the city would initiate Stage 1 water restrictions sooner than later; but exactly when, she would not say, only that the council would be briefed on the subject November 16. But in a memo sent to council moments ago, Suhm was far more exact: Dallas Water Utilities, she says, has recommended going to mandatory two-day-a-week watering restrictions on Monday, December 12. And, she writes, "I concur with staff's recommendations."

The entire memo follows, but, Suhm writes: Dallas's six water-supply reservoirs are about 25 percent depleted. And that, coupled with the ongoing historic drought and construction at the Eastside water treatment plant that "will temporarily reduce the amount of water in 2012 that Dallas can treat and supply to our customers," necessitates the move within the month.

"Without significant rain, and even with intense conservation efforts in the area, our reservoirs will continue to be depleted by consumption and evaporation," she writes. "Implementation of Stage 1 on Monday, December 12, 2011 will help to alleviate the depletion of the lakes, and help extend our water supplies." Nov 11, 2011

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15 comments
Paul
Paul

The northern suburbs to which you refer are members of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).  The NTMWD has not built any new storage (lakes) nor expanded their supply significantly.  The have one new reservoir planned but it may be 20 to 30 years before is becomes a reality.  Their supply problem is further impacted by the Zebra Mussel which has now colonized Lake Texoma.  Until cold weather comes and the Zebra Mussels go dormant and stop making new baby Zebra Mussels, the NTMWD is unable to refill Lake Lavon.

This is why these northern suburbs have implemented the Stage III water restrictions.

The prohibition on watering lawns (irrigation) from 10AM to 5PM in Dallas during warm weather months is now a permanent restriction and is used to lower the total demand on the DWU system.

DWU still has sufficient water.  The restrictions being implemented are due more to a reduction in system deliverability due to treatment plant renovations rather than a lack of supply.

Deep_Blue_090
Deep_Blue_090

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Blue_Angel_23
Blue_Angel_23

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Crap Detector
Crap Detector

Hope they put some teeth into enforcement, but somehow I think they'll just gum their way through.  What a joke all the way around.

Montemalone
Montemalone

The only reason they're doing Stage 1 now is because it's winter, so lawns don't need as much water anyway.

shrubstex
shrubstex

So watering our flowers pots will only happen 2 times a week.  That does not make sense. But will probably be legal with clarification. 

Fletch
Fletch

Stage 1?  Christ...way to step out on a limb on that one.  Many other cities in the Metroplex already have Stage 2 or 3 restrictions in place.  Given the fact that forecasters have said they expect this drought to be ongoing well into next year, maybe Dallas should get some water restrictions with teeth and stop screwing around.  

Marc
Marc

In August, all the drinking water reservoirs for the DFW area were 14-54% below conservation levels, which is much lower than maximum capacity levels. Since then, levels have continued to drop on all area reservoirs.

The state climatologist stated that the current drought could last another 5-15 years.

Hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale formation uses an average of 5 million gallons of fresh water for each and every frac job, and that water is then permanently removed from our hydrologic cycle never again to be used for drinking, bathing, growing plants, watering animals, washing cars or myriad other water uses that we seem to take for granted.

It is far past time for those supporting hydraulic fracturing to get a clue and understand one of the primary reasons why so many people oppose that technology. This is a global problem, not just a local problem. In the Eagleford Shale area near Big Bend it takes about 13 million gallons to frac each well, and that area is already a desert.

Dallas should have implemented Stage 2 or 3 water restrictions months ago, but as is so typical with our dunce leadership they are just now figuring out just how severe this problem really is. The REAL problem is voters who fail to hold our city council accountable for hiring and keeping an idiot like Mary Suhm on the payroll.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

One of the few things Dallas has done right from a planning perspective is secure water.  The other cities in the area mostly have done a terrible job on that issue.  We're the ant, and they're the grasshopper.  I certainly agree with going to Stage 1, but you could argue that we're being extremely cautious implementing it so early.

shrubstex
shrubstex

As you look at the graphs note that they are for Dallas not surrounding cities that have not planned as well as Dallas has in the past.  Now get ready for some grass warfare as Park Cites are not in the North Texas Municipal Water District or the Dallas Municipal Water District.  They are in Grapevine at 77%. 

Gangy
Gangy

They don't want to be too obvious about their concern, otherwise the public might demand the City's fracking policy be "hell no!"

Paul
Paul

fracking causes reflexive synaptic disorder syndrome ...

Seriously, any sale of water by Dallas Water Utilities for use in a frac job is subject to review by DWU.  It is my understanding that a one time industrial sale of water can be declined by DWU, if DWU determines that the sales at the delivery point would interrupt domestic water usage deliveries, firefighting capabilities; or, existing customers.

It would help your argument considerably if you would focus on a specific item.

The Eagle Ford Shale play is nowhere near the Big Bend area.  The Eagle Ford Shale play is located in South Texas, principally in the Uvalde area.  While water resources are especially critical in that area of the State, many people will fail to see the connection between water use in South Texas and North Central Texas.

Please go back and research why member cities of the NTMWD are on Stage III watering restrictions and DWU is jsut now recommending Stage I water restrictions for Dallas.  DWU has done an excellent job over the past 60 years of planning and developing the water resources for the City of Dallas.  This is one of the reasons why DWU is set up as a separate non profit coporation and has separate budget and credit ratings from the City of Dallas.

As far as I know, DWU has no responsibilities to the NTMWD member cities for the supply of fresh water, either treated or nontreated.  If DWU were to supply water to the NTMWD it would (I hope) be based on the availability of surplus water on a limited basis subject to the primacy of the needs of DWU customers.

Texas is a western state with eastern state water laws.

Paul
Paul

Sure, would you like to see one of my Master's theses on the subject?

By the way, water is also removed from the hydrological cycle by plate tectonics.

The opening statement is not intended to be cute.  It is intended to be sarcastic and provoke a critical review of unsubstantiated statements presented as fact.

Please go and review what I have posted.

Normally ad hominen attacks are avoided on this board and are usually taken as the responder's inability to articulate a defense to the position taken.

Have a nice whatever.

Marc
Marc

Paul, I am sure that think your little opening statement is cute, and to the uninformed it may well be, but I have no intention of discussing or debating people who fail to comprehend the REAL issue.

Get back to me after you read up on and understand the term "hydrologic cycle." Everything you said is bullshit.

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