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DFW Mayors Want Permanent Watering Restrictions

(from left to right) Mayors Mike Rawlings, Betsy Price, Beth Van Duyne, and Robert Cluck
(from left to right) Mayors Mike Rawlings, Betsy Price, Beth Van Duyne, and Robert Cluck

The mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving are launching a campaign for twice-a-week watering across the DFW region. KERA’s BJ Austin reports.

At an event at DFW Airport, the mayors called for other North Texas city leaders and council members to join them. Irving’s Mayor Beth Van Duyne says limiting sprinkler use to twice-a-week will help ensure that North Texas has enough water to serve a growing population. She says last summer proved that restricted watering does not kill lawns and landscaping.

Van Duyne: All of our cities have experienced various stages of water restrictions. And yet if you look out today, you look in Arlington, Irving, Dallas or Fort Worth, there are yards that are absolutely beautiful. And that just shows that even if you only water twice a week, you can sustain great yards.

Van Duyne says experts recommend watering every three to four days. And she says hand watering and soaker hoses could be used at any time.

One Dallas City Council member, earlier in the week, raised concerns about the effect the sprinkler-system restrictions might have on nurseries and landscape businesses. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price doesn’t see a problem.

Price: We have been visiting with the commercial landscapers and nurserymen and they like the idea that this will be uniform across the region.

Mayor Price says water conservation … even when the lakes are full … is critical. She says twice a week watering for a year would save enough water to fill Lake Worth.

The four mayors hope to have city council approval and twice a week watering ordinances in place by summer. And they hope other DFW cities will follow suit.

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.