The city council will vote today on whether to make those twice-weekly water restrictions permanent as part of a greater conservation effort. The Dallas Morning News reports that everyone seems on board with it, except for our councilmember Sandy Greyson and Ann Margolin who represents Preston Hollow.
I spoke with Greyson about water conservation in Notes from City Hall in our March issue. The idea was first suggested back in February and was fairly well received by the council, she said.
However, the North Dallas Neighborhood Alliance has outlined several concerns about permanent Stage 1 watering restrictions, including the city’s ability to enforce it year-round. Questions loom about how it applies to golf courses, country clubs, churches and gated communities. Also, the Alliance says, the restriction hurts long-time residents who have invested in expansive landscaping while “growth is touted as the magic bullet to everything.” Read the full list of concerns here.
“The municipalities think growth is something to be worshiped,” says Marla Beikman, NDNA co-president. “That somehow there’s something wrong with homeostasis. Our concern is couched in the fact that we are very concerned about water conservation. But too often, the council passes ordinances without having a really good plan. To say for all time, this is how it’s going to be is unwise.”
The NDNA board suggests enacting ordinances as needed depending on how lake levels rise and fall asking, what good does a permanent restriction do when our reservoirs are overflowing after a heavy rain season? Beikman noted (her personal opinion, not that of the board) an ordinance like this is a “knee-jerk reaction” and provides only the perception that we’re doing something good.
Mayor Mike Rawlings and those in surrounding suburbs heavily support a twice-a-week permanent watering restriction to save water and money for the region as the population increases. According to the council briefing the ordinance would reduce outdoor water use by up to 16 percent, growing our water supply and preparing for future droughts.
Under the proposed ordinance, you could still water any time with a bucket, hose, hand-held sprinkler or drip irrigation.
Update: The council passed the ordinance. Only Greyson and Margolin voted against it.