With spring now rolling around, the city of Plano is asking residents to water their lawns and landscapes no more than twice per week from April 1 to Oct. 31.
The city is also requesting that automatic sprinkler system settings be turned off, watering be shut off amid periods of rain and to water landscapes and yards only between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m., when spring and summer temperatures are generally at their lowest.
To this end, officials have implemented a weekly watering schedule for households in accordance to the last digit of their street address. Even-numbered addresses given allotted watering days of Monday and Thursday of every week, while odd-numbered ones are given those of Tuesday and Friday. Addresses ending in zero are considered even-numbered, as are houses whose irrigation systems are operated by a homeowner’s association.
“The City of Plano is committed to conserving and protecting our water supply in a cooperative effort with our citizens and other North Texas Municipal Water District member cities through education and enforcement that contributes to the overall quality of life,” the city said in its list of guidelines. “Because we purchase our water, we must be good stewards of this resource … This plan aims to reduce loss and waste of water and improve efficiency to extend the life of current water supplies.”
Summers are generally considered to be the most water-intensive periods for irrigation systems, largely due to increases in temperature and decreased frequency of precipitation. Due to generally cooler temperatures and a higher frequency of precipitation, Plano officials previously recommended that households limit their watering of lawns and landscapes to once a week from Nov. 1 to March 31.
In the event of droughts, a 2009 ordinance approved by Plano City Council authorizes a “Drought and Emergency Response Plan,” wherein water conservation efforts are more strictly enforced by threat of penalty. According to March 25 data from the United States Drought Monitor, portions of Collin and Denton County, including Plano, are given a D1 classification (“moderate drought”) on a scale of D0 to D4.
A D1 drought could potentially cause Plano to suffer stunted (growth-inhibited) dryland crops, increased wildfire frequency, declined surface water levels and changes in the local livestock industry caused by supplemental feeding and early cattle sales.
More information on Plano’s water conservation guidelines can be found online at plano.gov/1813/Watering-Guidelines-Management.