McKinney’s representatives to the North Texas Municipal Water District, Charles McKissick and Joe Joplin, reported to City Council during Tuesday’s work session that there is reason to be concerned about the levels of water supply to our area.
The last 18 months have produced the worst drought in the history of Texas, with record setting temperatures producing very dry conditions during the summer and fall of 2011. The hot and dry conditions have dramatically reduced the available water supply in the area’s reservoirs. The presence of the La Nina weather pattern is predicted to cause a drier than normal winter across much of Texas, prolonging the drought.
The City of McKinney, along with the other member cities of the NTMWD, moved to Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan at the recommendation of the NTMWD in Nov. of 2011.
Joplin told Council that he is concerned that not implementing Stage 4 water restrictions sends the wrong message. He said he doesn’t want to mislead the public. Lake Lavon’s elevation is down and is at 52% of useable capacity. Additionally, NTMWD is unable to pump water from Lake Texoma due to the pervasive zebra mussel infestation.
Implementing Stage 3 restrictions reduces water usage by 10% and by putting Stage 4 restrictions into effect, water usage would be reduced by another 10%.
McKissick reiterated to Council that a potential water shortage is a critical issue.
“We need more communication with council and the city and we need to educate citizens to know that their efforts have been paying off. McKinney has been the poster child for conservation since 2005, McKissick commented.”
Discussion around the possibility of holding town hall meetings to educate citizens on the subject of water availability and restrictions followed.
Mr. Joplin said, “We are all in this together.”
Mayor Loughmiller asked that an update from the NTMWD be included on the work session agenda for future meetings.
The NTMWD serves Allen, Farmersville, Forney, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Princeton, Richardson, Rockwall, Royse City and Wylie.
For Stage 3 restrictions, click here.
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