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Mayor Durham talks about water conservation
Residents encouraged to be water wise as record temperatures, drought conditions persist
Lewisville Mayor Rudy Durham has delivered the following message to residents about the need for water conservation:
You might have seen a notice from the city on Sunday about the urgent need to conserve water. One of the large pumps at the water treatment plant broke on Thursday and will not be replaced until Tuesday. That, combined with drought conditions and record high temperatures, put a lot of strain on our water system.
Many of you have helped us spread that message, and we’re seeing results. Thank you for your willingness to pitch in as part of this great community we call home.
Lewisville is not running out of water. We have the ability to purchase additional treated water from Dallas Water Utilities if we exhaust our own capacity. That would come at a cost – about $280,000 per year for each additional million gallons made available for Lewisville (a little more than a dollar per month for the typical water bill). But it is an important safeguard.
Once the pump is replaced this week, our system will go back to normal. However, the pump is not our greatest concern right now. Machines break down so you have to be prepared, and we were prepared for this.
I’m more worried about the dramatic unsustainable increase in water consumption we’ve seen during July.
It’s only natural, when summer comes along, to use more water for lawns and swimming pools and other more mundane purposes. We always use more water during July than we do most of the year. But this year’s water use during July has been unusually high. August is our biggest month every year in terms of water usage, so I don’t see those numbers getting any better unless a lot of us change what we’re doing.
Lewisville water customers have a history of being very responsible. We have one of the lowest rates of water consumption per capita among any of the customer cities for Dallas Water Utilities. Part of that is our current mandatory Stage 1 restrictions, but most of it is because of good decisions by our water customers. We need that now more than ever.
Stage 1 restrictions allow outside sprinkler systems to run twice a week, and do not prevent residents from filling their pools. Stage 2 restrictions are much more severe, including outdoor watering only once per week. If the current rate of consumption continues, I as mayor will have to consider activating Stage 2 restrictions. That’s not a threat of any kind. It’s just a statement of fact.
I urge all Lewisville residents to be wise about their water use. Follow the Stage 1 restrictions that are posted on the Water Conservation page of the city website (cityoflewisville.com). Water your lawn no more than twice per week on your assigned days, never during the heat of the day when most of it will evaporate anyway, and make sure your sprinkler heads are not excessively watering sidewalks and driveways. Pavement doesn’t grow.
There are more water conservation tips on the city website, along with information about the Residential Water Conservation Credit Program that allows customers to apply for credits to their water bills (up to $375 per year) to offset the costs of certain qualified water-conserving home improvements
As Americans and as North Texans, we’ve become accustomed to having water on demand. When you turn the faucet handle you know water is going to come out every time. That’s not the case in many parts of the world. If we want it to continue being true in North Texas, we’ve got to change the way we think about water.
We need to view water as a highly valuable commodity, something we could run out of, something we would never waste because it’s worth too much. It’s not enough to know that we have water today – we want to make sure we also have water tomorrow, next week, next month, and next generation.
Please join me in being water wise.