Mayors Join Forces for Regional Water Conservation Plan
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 12, 2012, April 12, 2012

Watering lawns twice a week may no longer be a drought-related restriction. It could very well be a permanent fixture.

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Irving Mayor Beth Van on Wednesday publicly and ceremoniously put their support behind the maximum twice-per-week watering guidelines as a regional standard.

The four gathered for a joint water conservation news conference in the lobby of the DFW Airport Administration Office, taking turns discussing the specifics of their cities but asserting in unison that if the fourth largest region in the country is going to continue to grow conserving water for later must be a priority now.

Even though area reservoirs are near or above normal due to recent rains, the Mayors of North Texas' most populous cities all agreed that shifting from drought contingency planning to long-term water conservative planning will help provide clean and affordable water in the future.

"I've received calls from citizens saying if we're not in a drought and that we have all we need at the moment, why the restrictions?" said Mayor Cluck. "Because we want to continue having all the water we need, in good times and in bad times. "

Mayor Price added that "We can't take having water for granted - it really is a limited resource. It aids us in public health, fire protection, supports our economy and helps with overall quality of life. But when it's gone, it's gone."

The news conference comes after the Mayor's Council of Tarrant County unanimously passed a resolution stating they work together to ensure that the twice-per-week watering ordinances are consistent between communities.

Water officials have long said that frequent outdoor watering, particularly in the heat of summer, have the potential of burdening water systems. Experts insist that twice-a-week watering is plenty for a fresh, lush green lawn as well as sturdy trees and blooming flowers, and that even turf grass doesn't need more than two good soakings a week.

Arlington Water Utilities Director Julie Hunt said it's really a matter of changing a watering culture.

"We must think about watering lawns more deeply and less frequently and knowing we'll be okay," Hunt said. "Actually, that develops a better root system. Water conservation is the least expensive water supply out there."

The mayors will now sell that same idea to their city councils.

"I wholeheartedly support the limited use of our important water supply and that watering anything over twice a week will be a waste of water," Cluck said. "I did it last summer until the restrictions came in. I guarantee you I won't start doing it again and I encourage everyone in Dallas and Fort Worth and Irving do the same. If we can get the critical mass together we will see our water supply totally ample."

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