In august 2009, The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department discovered invasive zebra mussels in Sister Grove Creek, a tributary of the East Fork of the Trinity River and used by the NTMWD to transfer water from Lake Texhoma. As a result, NTMWD voluntarily ceased pumping raw water supplies from Lake Texhoma and has not resumed pumping. The infestation of zebra mussels in Lake Texhoma has resulted in a loss of 22.5% of the NTMWD’s total raw water supply and at this time, NTMWD does not have a firm date for resumption of pumping from Lake Texhoma.
So what’s being done to remedy the situation? Many member and customer cities have adopted an ongoing Water Conservation Plan according to recommendations by the NTMWD; including the following measures (check your city’s web-site for specific details).
- Time of day restrictions on lawn irrigation
- Prohibition of watering of impervious surfaces
- Prohibition of outdoor watering during precipitation or freeze events
- Lawn and landscape irrigation limited to twice per week
- Prohibition of the use of treated water to fill or refill residential, amenity and any other natural or man-made ponds.
- The use of rain and freeze sensors and/or ET or Smart controllers on irrigation systems
- When washing car at home use a hose with a shut-off nozzle
- Prohibition of watering areas that have been over seeded with cool season grasses such as rye grass or other similar grasses (except for golf courses and public athletic fields).
- Installation of water-saving devices where possible such as aerating shower heads and drip irrigation lines
For more detailed information on the Water Conservation Plan or Drought Contingency Plan, go to www.NTMWD.com; or check your city’s website for information on the implementation of the plans. Do your part to conserve this finite resource. Visit wateriq.org for tips on how to use water wiser and more efficiently.