Dallas May Be Out of the Drought (For Now), But Watering Restrictions Are Far From Over

Categories: Weather
U.S. Drought Monitor
With the release of its latest map this morning, the U.S. Drought Monitor made it official: A few weeks' worth of heavy rain have officially removed Dallas-Fort Worth from the historic drought that has most of the state bone-dry. (Watch the 12-week animation here.) And per the AP's breaking-news sounder: "Residents in those areas will likely no longer have any water restrictions."

Ah, but remember: The Dallas City Council was told yesterday that our six water-supply reservoirs are 15 percent depleted, a significant improvement since council voted to institute twice-a-week watering restrictions. Nevertheless, on Wednesday council will be asked to extend Stage 1 restrictions till June 8, at least, because surrounding neighbors will need to buy our water.

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Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I don't understand why Dallas Water Utilities, which is run by the City of Dallas, charges City of Dallas higher rates for heavy water use than the rates paid by suburban residential customers of Dallas Water Utilities.

It appears as if:

1)  City of Dallas residential customers are subsidizing heavy water use by both suburban customers and City of Dallas commercial customers; and

2)  City of Dallas residents are effectively being punished through a combination of higher rates and watering restrictions to enable suburban residential customers to have plenty of cheap supplies available to water their larger lawns and fill their swimming pools.

In addition, it appears that the extremely low wholesale rates that the City of Dallas charges other North Texas municipalities for water allow them to reap windfall profits in their own water departments. These other municipalities then appear to use water department windfall profits (which are solely a function of the low prices paid to the City of Dallas) to subsidize other municipal functions. The net result is that Dallas Water Utilities serves as mechanism for transferring wealth from City of Dallas taxpayers to suburban taxpayers.

Heywood U Bozzoff
Heywood U Bozzoff

I saw this trick work in California: 1) Declare a drought, mandate water restrictions, 2) Declare drought over but the water board did not sell enough water to meet budget so they have to raise rates.  Repeat every two to three years as needed to cover ever more lavish water board needs.

Crap Detector
Crap Detector

That's been the approach in Plano for the past few years!

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